Be confident of who you are! Do never be intimidated or show embarrassment
We know all the points and ingredients that are necessary to make a successful Networker so let’s address each point individually and see how we can become that successful networker that seems to know everybody and everybody knows him and we envy every time we go to an event:
“BE CONFIDENT OF WHO YOU ARE! DO NEVER BE INTIMIDATED OR SHOW EMBARRASSMENT!”
Do you know that I am an awful introvert? probably the most private person you ever met, but every day I put a smile in my face and start a new day with confidence to go out there and look as the top extrovert in the World and meet people. I might be an introvert for sure but one thing is certain I don’t get intimidated by anybody in any circumstance.
Why? Let me give you small story, when I came to this country I went to work in an apparel factory making $3.50 an hour (at the time it looked like a fortune to me) as button operator, using a sewing machine placing buttons in jackets. One of the owners of the factory called me one Saturday and told me that he needed a secretary immediately as his bookkeeper was going through surgery and asked if I wanted the job. Of course, I said yes immediately, I took the job, went to secretarial school and graduated in half the time, learned everything about accounting and bookkeeping and started my next job. After doing this new job for one year, one day I saw that the owner received a letter from the Garment Workers Union penalizing him for a big amount based on payroll fees that had not been paid.
He comes to me all worried, remember Unions 40 years ago, were much stronger than today and they had the ability to close a business with penalties and so on. I looked at the books, I explained to him the fees were totally wrong and without any base as all the books were proper and correct. I had to know this as I had taken over the bookkeeper position as she never came back to work after the surgery.
He didn’t know what to do as he had been summoned to the Union’s central office in NY and he didn’t want to go and he said he rather pay than face them. Well little me, knowing nothing about anything, I told him that the only way will be to negotiate the penalty and ask for the fees to be cancelled, but in his opinion, such a thing was impossible, they would never listen, they were the strongest and they were after him.
I volunteered to go with him and fight it back. After several days of talking to him and suggesting, he finally said he would drive me to NY but at the last minute getting closer to the building in Times Square, he said I had to go alone and see what I could do, because he was very nervous and he would not go upstairs. That was my first network meeting that is for sure.
I got on the elevator, my hair was up in a European bun, I had a new 2-piece suit on (a sample from the factory), and obviously, I never had been in a big Union office, but as soon as I got in, I was taken to a big conference room and I saw 5 big tall American middle-aged men waiting for me, with menacing faces. Well I told them my boss was sick with the flu and I was the only person available to come and talk about the penalties and I did what I always do now, put my straight posture on, look at them straight at their faces and put my best smile out, took out the ledgers and accounting paperwork and show them line by line where they had made a mistake and the company was correct and completely transparent.
The 5 big tall men were appalled and speechless but guess what, they had no more arguments, they smiled back and I won the meeting, the penalties were cancelled as I had shown them everything was correct. I came downstairs and told my boss that everything was fine and we won. He could not believe it! He was taken back as well as with the Union nobody ever won.
The next morning, I saw in the mirror my first gray hair. Now you understand my hair color. Also, the Union representatives since then, every time they came to the factory, always smiled at me and treated me with respect. This happened 40 years ago, so now you understand where and how I learned to network.
So, I hope you understand the relationship between attitude, confidence, a smile and winning the room. That is the first ingredient of success, never be embarrassed of who you are or feel intimidated because the room is full of men or women, or maybe you are not as educated as others or you don’t make the same amount of money others make or maybe the others are taller and very well dressed and you are short and a little awkward.
Use your smile as you best accessory, use your body posture as you best asset, straight back, shoulders down with lots of confidence, you might not be the smartest or the wealthiest or have the best job, but it is your confidence and posture that will win the situation.
Please get up and with confidence and a great attitude, win the game!
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