13: Ivan Misner – Open Versus Closed Networking
Dr. Ivan Misner is the founder and chairman of the business networking organization BNI. He has been called the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN and the “Networking Guru” by Entrepreneur magazine.
When you step into a networking event, you may be confronted with a room full of strangers busily involved in conversations. You’ll notice clusters of two, three, four, or more people. As a stranger, you may feel that if you try to join any of the clusters, it will be intruding. It’s an awkward moment, and they may not know quite what to do or where to start.
Leaders, the way your people are configured in groups during your events can tell your visitors a lot about how they will be received.
It’s important to train people to keep “open” groups: an open side from which visitors can approach others face-to-face. This orientation is a welcoming configuration; it signals that their conversation is not private and that visitors would be welcome to join them and introduce themselves.
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