It is amazing to meet new people. I firmly believe that.
Of course, sometimes it can be stressful or intimidating- but it is always worth it.
Here are some reasons why:
- It knocks you out of your routine
- It gives you a different way of seeing the world
- It shows you how people can have different life experiences from you but can care about the same things
- It gives you a different perspective on your own work
- It shows you how brilliant humanity is
- It makes you think about connections that you can make between people- maybe the person you’ve just met would love the work of another connection that you have
- It gives you fresh impetus for your work if you have just spent time telling a stranger why it is important to you
- You learn from the approach of the other person. For example, do they come across as friendly to you? If so, how can you learn from what they do to come across as more friendly? Or, if they are late and it annoys you, is lateness a problem that you need to fix about yourself?
- Other people constantly surprise us in small ways. When we meet a new person we may find that they are not that interested in the thing that we find most interesting about ourselves!
Every time we meet a new person and expose ourselves to new situations, we are able to get better and better at human interactions.
So, if you agree with me that meeting new people is an amazing thing- how do you actually reach out to them?
Most importantly, you are going to have to make yourself vulnerable in some way.
For example, I wrote this article when I moved to my present destination of Lisbon.
It directly led to three, in-person meetings and another one is hopefully going to happen in the next month or so.
By reaching out, showing that I wanted to meet and explaining a little about myself, some fascinating people stepped forward to meet me. In one case, someone recommended a third party that they thought I should meet.
I am lucky that I enjoy networking and meeting new people- but it is something that I always try to improve.
If you would like to get better at the skill of networking, go to the store page of this website where you can join nearly 2000 students on my free course, ‘How To Network’.