More How to Network at Holiday Parties

Here is an email exchange I had this week with a newsletter subscriber about networking at holiday parties:

Hi Gilda,
I occasionally join my husband at one of his company's social gatherings for families and friends. It feels more like an assignment than a party for me as I have to present myself in an appropriate manner and be social with people I really don't know that well. Any tips to make it a happier experience for me?? I do get myself to meet and greet, however,it becomes a challenge to get the conversation to the next level as these are my husband's business colleagues and there are some limits as to what areas one can speak about. Thanks, A.

My response:
Dear A.,
Perhaps you can just accept that in some of these situations, the conversation will never get beyond "meet and greet" and move into the next level. Be content talking about the weather, movies, sports, kids and pets... in other words, set your expectations so that you are not frustrated with yourself for not being able to get into a deeper, more meaningful conversation.

Try to identify someone who feels out of place or uncomfortable and do your best to set them at ease (networking guru Susan RoAne calls it "acting like the host").

And plan a treat for yourself once the event is done to reward yourself for going through it with a smile.


Her response:
Dear Gilda,
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly......and, just in time for my husband's holiday party scheduled for this coming Saturday. I loved your tips and especially the one that advises giving myself a treat when the event is over. I like being in the moment but I guess in these situations when you want the moments to be over, it's nice to have a reward waiting!!

For more tips, read my post How to Network at Holiday Parties:

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