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1 min readWear The Right Shade

by Guy Gage | October 28, 2013 | Business

I attended a business mixer recently and noticed that there were three different shades people wore. I’m not talking about their clothes. That would be easily addressed. No, I’m talking about their behavior. This is what I saw.

Some wore lamp shades. They stood at the periphery, nibbling on finger food and watched the action in the room. Why were they even there? It was a business MIXER, not a business watcher. They walked away from the meeting with nothing except to be able to report the next day that yes, they attended. These are the ones who complain that they are too busy to waste their time with activities as these.

Others wore eye shades. Not the kind on eye lids, but the kind that are accompanied by pocket protectors. All they talked about was their technical capabilities or the latest law or code changes. People became bored and moved on, except those who also wore eye shades. The technicals found each other and kept each other engaged until the evening was over. But they didn’t benefit from the meeting except to persuade others of how smart they were.

The third group wore cool shades. They were in the middle, meeting people, talking with people, exchanging business cards, asking how they could help each other with introductions or new business. They were engaged and benefiting from the meeting.

The cool shade wearers weren’t necessarily the extraverts of the group. Some were rather quiet and reserved. But they were prepared for the meeting because they thought about how to present themselves. They stimulated conversation by asking questions and listened to what people thought, were concerned about or challenged by. And they walked away with valuable information and new contacts.

This week, prepare for your next business meeting by putting on the right shade. Take advantage of the meeting because there are many who won’t.

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