I just finished How to Work a Room, Revised Edition: Your Essential Guide to Savvy Socializingby Susan RoAne. Part of building strong teams is building connections with people you don’t already know. These people can be found at company events, church, your health club, weddings, networking events and parties.
Walking up to strangers and striking up a conversation can be a frightening action to take. What if I don’t know what to say? What if they don’t want to talk with me? What if I go over and then can’t later get away? Most of us have probably had these thoughts at one time or another.
The book reminded me of a couple things I already knew, but didn’t regularly practice. It also provided some information about things I was clueless about. For example, when there’s already a group of people engaged in a conversation, how am I supposed to slip into the circle?
The best tip in the book was to stop thinking like a guest and start thinking like a host. Focus on making others comfortable, and you’ll do just fine.