Be more like Mike

…and you will easily connect with people at Networking events, job fairs, etc.


Recently, I took the 2 ½ hour ferry ride to Nantucket. My normal traveling persona is to skip any casual conversation with strangers who just might decide to bend my ear for the whole trip. It is a good opportunity for me to read, think, or nap. So why take the risk?


Before the ferry left the dock a guy one booth away caught my attention by saying…

Hey, what’s your name?

I looked up & said Jim and went back to reading. A few minutes later, I heard:

Hey Jim, who’s your favorite comedian?

I said, Jerry Seinfeld and went back to reading again. He told me that his favorite was Lily Tomlin.


At that point, I now felt obligated to ask, “What’s your name?” He said Mike


“Hi Mike” says I and went back again to reading. A few minutes later I hear…

Hey Jim, tell me a story about you. I told him that I was visiting some friends on Nantucket.


Now I feel obligated to say, “Mike, tell me a story about you”. He says “I have cerebral palsy Jim, and I hate it.”


My heart melted for Mike & we chatted for a little longer before I told Mike that I needed to finish what I was reading.  Well, a few minutes later an undaunted Mike connected with a guy at the next table over and I heard:

“Hey, what’s your name?”…and Mike repeated his routine about who is your favorite comedian and all of that. This went on for most of the trip as Mike made new friends.


You can be more like Mike when you meet strangers at events that you are attending. Start with “Hi, my name is Jim and it says right here that you are Mike. Is that right?  ………….Who’s your favorite comedian Mike?”

What do you hope to get out of today’s event? Then you can tell them you goals for today and see where it goes from there.


Be more like Mike – Treat people warmly and show an interest in them…build some rapport with them. It makes doing business a whole lot easier when we are working with friends.



One Response to Be more like Mike

  1. You would think that being a human resource professional for many years before becoming a solo-preneuer I would have mastered the art of connecting with others. And, yes I do know how. But, sometimes instead of taking the initiative to make connections and build relationships, I wait for them to come to me. Easier? Absolutely. More comfortable? Without a doubt.

    I once heard a presenter say that you should go to each networking event with the attitude that you are the host. As host you make people feel welcome. As you so aptly pointed out, we need to treat people warmly and show an interest in them. One of the best (and easiest) ways to do this is to ask “your guests” about themselves – whether it be at a networking event, a job fair, a sales meeting, a training session, etc.

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