How to Get the Most Out of a Business Mixer

Although the importance of maintaining a professional persona while at the office cannot be understated, it is equally valuable to interact with others properly at events outside of the office. Golf tournaments, company BBQ’s and networking mixers are all opportunities to connect with your peers and further your professional relationships.
This of course can be easier said than done, and for many people, it does take some time to adjust to these types of things. There is no better place to practice your business-setting social skills than at a local business mixer.
Getting the most out of events such as these is straightforward, but it does require some insider knowledge, and it always helps to be prepared. That’s why the following tips will come in handy for anyone looking to improve upon their skills and etiquette at business events.

 

Dress Appropriately

This is especially important for the gentlemen to remember. No offense guys, but there are those among us who have sometimes been known to neglect this important aspect of social networking. Even if the occasion is less than formal you will want to err on the side of caution.
Nothing is worse than showing up under-dressed to a black tie event. Make sure to read the invitation carefully, and if you are still unsure, throw on a tie and shine up some shoes. You can always lose a jacket or necktie late if you feel overdressed.

 

Have a Goal

Make sure that you go to the event with a clear idea in mind of what you want to do. This could mean getting on a first name basis with some of the attendees, or even impressing your boss with some witty banter.
Regardless of what you wish to achieve, you’ll want to have at least one goal decided on when you walk in the door. Walking around the room, introducing yourself to people and projecting a positive persona will all help show others that you are serious, and will leave a lasting impression.

 

Be Cool and Calm

This may seem like something obvious, but let’s just say it anyway – do not have too much alcohol to drink. It may seem harmless, but it could follow you around for years, and it is the type of thing that will surely ruin your professional prospects. One drink is okay, as it will help you blend in, but if you are not a drinker just help yourself to a coke or something that you can hold in your hand.
As for the food, make sure to sample lightly, and do not get caught stuffing your face in front of a potential contact. It would also be wise to hold back for a few minutes once the food is served so that you don’t come across as rude or overeager.

 

Conclusion

Finally, be sure to answer questions with more than a simple yes or no. Listen attentively, and when you want to move on, don’t get caught yawning or gazing around. Wait for a pause and say, “It’s been a pleasure talking with you and I look forward to meeting you again.” Any new contacts you may have made should be sent a quick thank you email to let them know you appreciated meeting them. These tips will come in handy the next time you’re ready to attend a business mixer or networking event.

The 5 Essential Qualities of True Leadership

Good leadership can be a difficult attribute to spot. Sometimes leaders quietly guide by example, and in other cases they can be vocal and boisterous; however, all great leaders have the ability to navigate through difficult challenges, and their teams look to them for support.

Even if leadership is tough to quantify, there are some characteristics that you can look for when attempting to pinpoint those who would best be suited for management or executive roles within your organization. If you’re hiring, you should look for these traits during the interview process, even if the candidate may have a long way to go before assuming any type of major leadership role.

This is also crucial if you wish to retain your business’s top talent. One of the main reasons people leave their jobs is the lack of leadership within the company. Even beyond money, people want to know that someone who they have faith in will guide them to success.

 

So what are the leadership qualities that you can look for in an individual?

 

1. Flexibility

 

Flexible leaders are those who are able to alter their course, opinions and decisions as needed. These types of leaders are much better than those who are rigid with their beliefs and actions. It takes a big person to know when they are wrong, and an even bigger one to admit it to the rest of their team.

 

2. Communication

The leaders that people will follow almost anywhere are those who bond with us through their ability to express themselves. They know that passion, honesty, and even vulnerability are critical to their ability to connect with others. Additionally, providing solid feedback on a day-to-day basis helps them to cement their coworker relationships.

 

3. Transparency
A good leader is open with their employees about their motives, and they have a good handle on why the organization functions in the way it does. Transparency is absolutely key because it helps employees gain an understanding of why things are being done in certain ways.

 

4. Consistency

The office can be a place of great unpredictability, where sudden changes keep everyone on their toes. A quality leader can offer their people some consistency in this storm by handling their emotions and actions with a strong grip. This is something that every employee should strive for – not just leaders!

 

5. Curiosity

True leaders will show a genuine interest in others, take the time to ask how people are doing, and then stick around to listen to what they say. The most incredible managers and executives have a way of showing interest in people and making them feel like they are important.

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