This week's retro post comes from when I first started blogging. I'm proud to say I have gotten better about clinging, but still from time to time do it. How about you?
October 20, 2009
If you cling too long, you'll never get up the mountain
While attending a NAMT networking event this weekend, I discovered something very interesting about networking and something that I personally need to improve on. As usual, I'll explain it with a metaphor:
When I first moved to the city, I was asked to climb a rock wall at a gym. I knew nothing about this sport, but gave it a shot. I grabbed at the wall and got to the point where both arms and legs were on the wall and I was about a foot off the ground and then...
I didn't move.
If I reached up, I felt myself slipping, so I instantly pulled back and went back to the starting position. I would try again and again, but could not seem to move.
A friend of mine who was watching the show with the rest of the gym explained that I was clinging and that until I allowed some of my weight to shift, rather than keeping it all pressed against the rock, I would be stuck there. After a few tries, I convinced myself to shift the weight and sure enough, I moved up! Before every reach there was this really scary moment where it felt like I was going to fall (and truth be told, sometimes I did) but as soon as I let that go, the weight shifted and I moved. This got me thinking about networking events.
When we first make a connection at one of these events, it's exciting. We're getting to know someone new and we're talking about important things. We may trade cards or hand each other postcards for a show, but then what happens? In my case, I often stay and chat for a pretty long time and most of the time miss out on meeting any one else.
I realized the other day that this is clinging.
It's comfortable to stay with the person you know or the new contact, because that means you don't have to go to anyone else. Just like I leaned all of my weight against the rock and didn't move, I found myself anchored to people I knew already or new connections for so long, we had practically had a full meeting by the time I left!
When I did force myself to say goodbye or move to someone else, I met some other really great people, but it nagged at me that I may have met twice that many, had I not clung so long.
So my plan from now on is to work on that element and try and make my networking meetings a bit more succinct.
Have any of you every experienced this? What are your "climbing" stories? Feel free to comment below:
And the next time you're out networking and feel yourself stuffed in a corner, try shifting your weight. You may just end up at the top of the mountain.