I’m determined to bring back “schmooze.” It’s more than small talk. It’s social networking at its finest. It’s the smooth type of conversation you don’t know you’re having, but still manages to land politicians in office and CEOs in the boardroom hot seat. My father would even describe this conversational tango as an art form. Learning to develop a natural conversation flow is critical in a profession as social and connected as ours. Everyone has intentions when entering a conversation, but it’s how they are pursued that dictates your networking success.
Not sure where to start when it comes to networking? There are some parallels between networking and dating. Both are centered on meeting new people and building meaningful relationships with one-time strangers. Not all networking interactions will lead to long-lasting relationships (just like dating), though there will be some that will extend beyond that first initial contact. Here are several key tips to keep in mind next time you find yourself interested in expanding your social circles and social interests.
An article about fist bumps. Trust me, I never thought I would be writing this either. But the other day a friend of mine really got me thinking about this topic. Does the handshake have an expiration date? Bold statement, I know. And if my 26 years of schooling has taught me anything, it’s to not make a statement unless you can back it up.
Mela and Whitworth, in the August 2014 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, published a study comparing the hygienic effects of the handshake, the high five and the fist bump. I would have loved to have been there for that grant proposal. The study finds that the fist bump had significantly less bacterial transfer than did the handshake or even the high five.
I moved to Wisconsin for residency last summer. As a native Midwesterner, I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with the culture, values and cheese curds of Middle America. License plates may label this state as America’s Dairyland, but it seems to me a different indulgence is its most famous export. Beer.
Wisconsin isn’t the only drinking danger zone! Today’s dental students face alcohol-fueled culture at mainstream professional events. Social receptions tend to come well stocked with spirits. I see four significant alcohol-centered threats staring you down as an ambitious young dentist working hard to expand your network.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from my involvement with ASDA, it is the power of networks. A strong network can open doors and help you stumble onto new opportunities. Yet the idea of networking makes many people uncomfortable. I’m a natural introvert so my idea of a perfect Friday night includes curling up in bed with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. The thought of roaming around a room talking to hundreds of my peers is quite intimidating. Through practice, I’ve honed my ability to network and meet people. Here are five networking tips that have helped introverts like me connect with people at events.