This past March, I had the opportunity to attend a three hour workshop at a cool little theatre space in New York City hosted by none other than the awe-inspiring, Seth Godin. The event was called the Impresario Workshop. There is so much to tell about that event and I will follow up with a few posts on that topic. However, what I want to share today is that last Friday, following Seth’s sage advice, I tried my hand at serving as an impresario for the first time under the banner of Coffee Lunch Coffee.
Working with partners from the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, the Olathe Public Library and MidAmerica Nazarene University, I hosted the first in a series called the Business Toolkit Workshop. We had four amazing speakers and a full house with about 120 engaged participants. I couldn’t be prouder of the outcome and honored be associated with my teammates and sponsors.
During the event, I served in one of my favorite roles – that of Networking Sherpa – acting as a guide for participants as they continue on their individual Networking journeys. As such, I shared several tips for maximizing Networking opportunities. Two of those tips were:
- Share/Get. Every time you leave the house, take a “gift” with you. It does not need to be a beautifully wrapped package (although those work very well, too). Rather, take some information that costs you virtually nothing, but is hugely valuable to the recipient. It could be the name of a cool website, a new restaurant in town, a great book or movie, a handyman… whatever! It will be easy to deliver and very much appreciated by your contact. Plus, it is a wonderful excuse to follow up with your contact in an effort to advance your relationship.
- “Questions are the Creative Acts of Intelligence” (with appreciation to Albert Einstein for the quotation). The idea here is to always have an arsenal of open-ended questions at the ready in order to generate conversation with new and established contacts wherever you encounter them. Of course, you must be genuinely interested in their answer as it will require your active engagement and is dependent on their response to you and your reaction to them.
In the spirit of acting upon Seth Godin’s advice and giving the role of impresario a shot, I was delighted to meet Logan Freeman of IdleSmart who gave my advice a go right there on the spot! Logan approached me, introduced himself and provided me with a) a gift and b) a model for sharing information and asking questions. What could be better?
Logan’s model is called Observe – Share – Ask. On his own blog, LiveFreeman, he describes it this way:
- O. Make an observation.
- S. Share a related fact, experience or idea.
- A. Ask a question.
He says, for him, this model ultimately works in every situation. He urges people to “be creative, be yourself and have fun.”
Thanks for the gift, Logan! So glad you shared and I’m delighted to share your tips for effective Networking with the CLC Community.