Don't just barge into a conversation

I was at a tweetup this week, and engaged in a lively conversation with someone I had just met. We were getting to the juicy bit of the chat when suddenly a large lady plonked herself in front of us. Without any opening gambit, we suddenly found that we were now a collection of three people, and she was introducing herself with gusto and suddenly not just involved in our conversation but leading our conversation. I was so amazed at this apparently lack of respect for us, and frankly poor manners that I didn’t say a word. I’m guessing my face must have been a picture, as our uninvited guest stayed for 30 seconds and then ‘had to find her drink, but would be back’ – she never came back! The silly thing is, if she had made eye contact with either of us and asked permission to join the two of us, I would have welcomed her with open arms.

So, what are the lessons we need to learn from this little incident?

Firstly, there is the gold rule that if you are working the room and want to join a group, then always asks permission before you invade their conversation. Secondly, do not automatically assume that because a group is standing in an open formation that they are happy to accept new people into the group!

What faux pas have you seen when networking?

Comments

I fear this is the

justsotax | | Permalink

'nature of the beast'.....60 people in a room - so lets speak to everyone (and hope i meet someone who i think will be useful to me) - this is where the fixed format (b for b, BNI etc) win over the individual events....

Flash Gordon's picture

Eh?

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

What on earth is a 'tweetup'?!

 

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I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my next book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' is published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 

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