The world today is not only about what you know, but who you know. Being skilled at networking with different people can play a key role with your position in society. This applies in almost any city I can confidently say but in one as small as KL, these traits could end up being what make or break you.
The realist inside you should tell you from the word go that you will never be able to please everyone. That is a given and needs to be accepted. However- it does not mean that you just shouldn’t try at all. We all have to do things we’d rather not at times and in networking and meeting new people this could mean biting your tongue and smiling just to seem like the bigger person. Even though deep down inside you want to give them a smack!
Becoming respected by your peers and the society beyond that in my opinion isn’t about being a social butterfly or climber. It is about knowing how to communicate with those around you at any given time by knowing what is and isn’t appropriate. If you are nasty the only person you’re really doing any proper harm to is yourself (once again, especially in a city like KL). This is down to word of mouth, you tread on too many peoples toes and you will have a reputation and once that is so meeting new people gets more and more difficult. You could be the loveliest person at heart but you will have a hard time even getting a chance to show that if this is the case as people will already have their preconceived perceptions of you.
This can be difficult to accept as its never easy being judged as something different to what you think of yourself. However, once again this is the reality of society and in becoming a better person all you can truly do is adapt and force them to see otherwise.
Some good things to keep in mind to make all of this easier for you when networking are…
- If you meet someone and have heard bad about them in the past, remember how it feels to have it done to you and make up your mind for yourself after seeing what they are like.
- If you still find this person unappealing, you do not need to share this with your peers because chances are it will get back to them. In stead, nod, smile and always be polite. You will be hard to fault.
- When speaking to someone who seems to be completely different to you, try to choose a generic subject which most people would be able to adapt to. Generic not boring… you have to be able to keep the conversation going too! Discussing a persons basic likes such as music or film is always a good way to get started because everyone has different tastes so it will give you both something to say whilst also giving an interesting insight into the person. And you could even be surprised, common interests could be shared with the people you thought were your polar opposites.
- A tip that may seem too obvious to be shared is the one that will be the downfall of many. Be positive. Smile, be engaged and be cheery. Even if you aren’t, appear so! No one likes to speak to someone who doesn’t appear to be engaged however if you are responding in a happy manner you will attract more and more people as they will think you care. With this the saying “fake it until you make it” definitely applies. If you are constantly putting yourself out there as a positive person, chances are that overtime you really will be. It is possible to condition yourself!