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Intentional Networking

August 8, 2012

I walked into the crowded room of familiar faces from 1982. I wanted to enjoy myself at my 30th Reunion while making it a meaningful business experience Reunion2012too. As I heard classmates speaking with each other about the colleges they attended after high school, their families and where they lived, I decided to ask everyone I met what they did  professionally. Part of it was pure curiosity wondering if the “most likely to succeed” actually did and if the “class clown” had ever landed a serious job.

Being extremely intentional about getting to know the professional side of my classmates came from a conversation I had with this year’s Retreat keynote speaker Chris Xaver who will be inspiring women to be more intentional with everyone they meet. By the end of the evening, I had met one of Hollywood’s top animators who was also a boy who sent me original valentine’s day poems every year in elementary school. I also struck up a conversation with a female engineer who organizes a networking and career group for female engineers in the air force. We are going to have lunch in later this year. Finally, I met a female attorney who shared interesting legal perspectives with me.
 
If I had only gone to my reunion to talk about the good ole days, which were certainly plentiful growing up with such jovial classmates, I would have missed some great business conversations and connections. I didn’t go there to be a saleswoman for my company; I went there looking for interesting people to connect to once the event was over.
 
Today’s blog post is to remind you to be intentional about the conversations you have with strangers, old friends and new acquaintances. Finding out more about people from your past or present might open up new, exciting business doors. If you need more guidance on becoming a more intentional entrepreneur, come to this year’s Women TIES Retreat to listen to Chris Xaver, creator of “The Sweet Life with Chris Xaver” share her amazing business lessons.
 
The best part of forging captivating conversations with my classmates about what I did for a living helped me forget about what I was wearing or what I looked like to people after 30 years. They all agreed I had a “pretty sweet professional life.” I agreed one hundred percent!
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