The Power of Being an Interloper

As I sit and assess the events I am invited to attend and the tables at which I have the privilege to sit, I find that I’m often the interloper.  That is, I’m welcomed in the room, but I’m not quite a full-fledged member of the host organization.  Truthfully, I quite love being in this position and have discovered it can help take my own networking game to the next level.  Now, you might be wondering, isn’t that a little unconventional? Well, perhaps, but let’s explore how this bold move can open doors and create opportunities you never imagined.

Imagine walking into a room where you don’t know a single soul, and the organization hosting the event isn’t your usual stomping ground. It might feel a bit intimidating, but here’s the secret sauce – embrace the discomfort. Being an interloper means you’re not bound by pre-existing relationships or expectations. You have a clean slate, and that’s powerful.  Consider these tips:

  • Use your outsider perspective to your advantage. Ask questions that insiders might overlook, thereby sparking fresh conversations. Your curiosity can lead to insights that others might miss, and people appreciate a new angle.

  • Don’t shy away from introducing yourself as the “outsider.” This honesty can be disarming and make you memorable. People are likely to go out of their way to welcome you and make you feel more comfortable. Embrace your unique position and leverage it to create authentic connections.

  • Cross-pollinate ideas. Share your story and listen to theirs. Bring insights from your experiences outside the organization and see how they resonate. Sometimes, the best solutions come from combining diverse perspectives.

  • Build bridges. Connect with people, collect contact information (don’t forget to get their business cards!), and follow up. Attendees may be intrigued by your courage to step into unfamiliar territory, and that curiosity can lead to exciting collaborations and partnerships.

So, the next time you find yourself on the fringe of an event for an organization you’re not a member of, don’t hesitate to jump in. Be the interloper, unlock new possibilities, and soak up untapped opportunities.

Happy Networking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *