During my travels I have had the privilege of traveling the world at a very early age, thanks to my parents who continue to repeat that cycle today as 2 sixty-something year olds; the cycle never ends. Traveling is networking. Five key factors on networking with people you don’t know 1) Invite everyone to the party, 2) Disciple, 3) Stay on top of technology, 4) Become a pleasure to be around & 5) Be remembered
1) Invite everyone to the party
Mama says don’t talk to strangers? Well, set that aside (with discretion) and learn to speak up when you need an answer to one of the thousand questions going on in your head. A crucial aspect of networking is, understanding that everyone around can be utilized in some way to help you with whatever you are doing. Often we overlook those who can help us the most because we have it all figured out. Engage with those who are experts in their field.
Ex) Need to know the easiest way to get around an unfamiliar city? Ask a cab/bus driver.
Be obedient to their culture and open your mind. No, not everyone enjoys American Football so it is wise to know that most places have their own unique style and preference. The country was in great shape before you arrived and most likely will continue to grow gracefully when you are gone.
3) Stay on top of technology
Smartphones. I also hate the annoying text message sound and vibration but it’s an investment that will get you through any situation, especially in a foreign country. Google Maps, Translator, Bus Times, Tube Map, the list of FREE apps goes on and on.
4) Being pleasurable
People usually gravitate to those who are likable, easy-going, and chill. In a unfamiliar place, it is easy to become frustrated because you are outside of your comfort zone. Adaptability is essential because it shows that you are NOT stiff and those around you will take note that you are making the necessary adjustment. Everything seems a lot easier to do once you possess positive energy – everyone loves it and are willing to help in any way they can.
5) Be remembered
When you walk into a room, you should ALWAYS maneuver with your shoulders back, head up, and ready to engage in some conversation while maintaining eye contact with the person in front of you. It is typical to ask for business cards so don’t become lost in the bunch. Offer to send a “Great to meet you today/tonight” email (from your smartphone) so when they return home they can take the time to reply and follow up with you. Before you know it, you’re invited to play golf in The Bahamas!
Finally, being yourself is the most interesting characteristic about you – try it! If exercised wisely, the above 5 points should have you in great shape on your next trip to see the sights!