Because people can't read minds, we make decisions about the folks that we meet and network based on things like clothes, body language, eye contact and other factors. Of course, we also make decisions based on the other person's credibility as it relates to what kind of work they do. But there is something that a lot of people don't think about when they're networking that they should notice about themselves and others. Enthusiasm. Are we giving the impression that we enjoy the kind of work that we do? Are we giving the impression that we're interested in the other person? Quite often, people don't realize that they are sending mixed signals.
Have you ever met the person who says they're excited and you're thinking "Why don't you notify your face?" I meet them from time to time. People are picking up subtle clues all the time as to the congruency of our messages. Is what we're thinking, saying and doing in alignment? This is a question that deserves some thought before we get into a networking conversation.
The word "enthusiasm" comes from the Greek word "entheos". No, I'm not going to be like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and try to convince you that all words can be traced back to Greece. Entheos means "having God within". If God is within someone it's probably a good bet that they're fully alive. This isn't about religion, it's about inspiration and excitement. When you're meeting people, kick it up a notch. Don't start bouncing off the walls or acting weird. Just remember that you're opening up a relationship and who knows where it can go? This is exciting! When you're a professional in your line of work, the other person is fortunate to make your acquaintance and you're lucky to make theirs. This is the start of a mutually-beneficial relationship.
Put on your game face the next time you're networking. You're there to meet people and see folks that you already know. We all like being around people that have a little skip in their step and that are up. Make it a goal to be positive and enthusiastic the next time you're out and about. And the beautiful thing is that whatever we give we receive in return. See how the energy in the conversation changes when you inject a little enthusiasm. You will become someone that people want to be around. And that's fun and profitable for everyone.