Need An Easy Way to Start A Conversation? Lend a Helping Hand

Need An Easy Way to Start A Conversation? Lend a Helping Hand

I’d finally learned how to start a conversation easily, but four years after becoming comfortable with networking I’ve regressed. I’ve been working from home for a year and a half now and it’s bringing out the Introvert in me something fierce. I try to get out and have networking lunches, go to fun events, and just plain see people. But it’s hard when my natural tendency is to curl up with a book or play a game.

For the past month, I’ve made an extra effort to schedule some lunches and go to events and… well, I found out that my networking skills are a bit rusty. Yesterday I remembered one of my old approaches to starting conversations that makes it MUCH easier for those of us… let’s say conversationally challenged. I offered to help someone.

This summer I joined our local arboretum with the intention of taking some classes and going to fundraisers. It was October and I hadn’t been to anything yet. The annual plant giveaway happened on October 1st, and you can bet I wasn’t going to miss it.

It was pouring rain that day (ideal for when you’re going to be standing in the middle of a garden for two hours) but I was determined to have fun. This event was an adventure! The arboretum gives away 4000 plants to over 300 people in completely organized, chaotic fun! You can see how it works in this video.

Waiting in line under a huge umbrella, I noticed the woman behind me was huddled and shivering in just a rain jacket. “Would you like to share my umbrella,” I asked? And that was the beginning of a great conversation where not only did we stay mostly dry, I got some great tips on how to get the plants I wanted during the giveaway.

Start a conversation with a little red wagonAbout 30 minutes later as I was dragging my mostly full red wagon full of plants back down the gravel path to load it up, I heard someone make a comment just behind me. “You’ve got a lot to carry!” they said. “Yes,” another voice replied. “It’s my first time and I didn’t know I would need a cart.” I turned to see that the second voice belong to a woman struggling to carry a bin loaded with her plants.

“Here,” I offered immediately. “Let’s move this over and you can put your bin right here.” She was surprised at the offer and a smile lit up her face as she placed her bin on my wagon. We had a nice conversation as we walked back to the parking lot together. We split up to load our haul into our cars, but she found me again before she left to tell me how much she appreciated the help.

I didn’t get business cards from either of these people. It just wasn’t that kind of event. But I will probably run into them at future events at the arboretum. Even if I don’t, it feels good to flex those networking muscles AND to make someone’s day just a little better. Every positive networking experience gives me more confidence and more willingness to start the next conversation. Who knows where that conversation will take me?

Because Our Network is Your Network: Introducing Robyn Sayles

Because Our Network is Your Network: Introducing Robyn Sayles

Red Feather Networking would like to introduce you to Robyn Sayles, Owner of Catapult Creative Consulting. Robyn will be attending ATD 2015 in Orlando and is the Sunday night VIP for the #RFNstyle Tweet-up at The Pub in Pointe Orlando. A Fascinate Certified Advisor, Robyn is making people have Ah-Ha moments on a daily basis and your next!

Using innovative thinking & unorthodox problem-solving, Robyn has a way of helping to bring clarity to the way the world views you. As you will hear her say time and time again, “You already have everything you need to be awesome. Let me show you how.” You can grab Robyn’s conference special and take the Fascinate Advantage Assessment for just $10!

So without further ado, Red Feather Networking would like to introduce you to Robyn Sayles.

 

Because Our Network is Your Network: Introducing, Shannon Tipton

Because Our Network is Your Network: Introducing, Shannon Tipton

Red Feather Networking would like to introduce you to Shannon Tipton, CEO of Learning Rebels (just the name alone makes you want to know more, doesn’t it?). Shannon will be attending ATD 2015 in Orlando and is the Monday night VIP for the #RFNstyle Tweet-up at B.B Kings in Pointe Orlando. Rethinking traditional learning methods and creating an environment that supports “Learning Curiosity” is what Learning Rebels is all about.

One of the many things that we admire about Shannon Tipton is her love for being in the trenches with trainers who want to band together to fight mediocrity in the corporate learning environment. She developed the Learning Rebels approach to business learning so that managers, trainers, and learners alike will embrace education inside and beyond the classroom walls. Her concept, beliefs, and methods will revolutionize the way training is viewed in the corporate environment.

So without further ado, Red Feather Networking would like to introduce you to Shannon Tipton.

Watch for Shannon all over ATD and when you see her make sure to get your “Learning Rebels” badge ribbon. Show that world that you want to be a part of creating learning curiosity within your organization.