There are lots of general tips available about networking and working a room. But I’m picking up (using my feminine side?) that there are a few issues relating to women networking for business with men.
Some of the issues I’ve been asked about are practical, for example:
1. What do we do about business cards – we usually don’t wear suit jackets that have pockets?
Some women’s networking issues relate to what are seen as typical men’s conversations. Here are two typical comments:
2. Men typically exaggerate and some talk complete bull***t! I can’t compete with that. What should I do?
3. I have no interest in sport. What should I do when that’s all they seem to want to talk about?
Should women adopt a similar style of banter, read the sports pages of the newspapers and offer their opinions as to:
* whether England should play 4, 4, 2 against Brazil,
* whether Andy Murray should serve more to Nadal’s forehand,
* how to sort out England’s scrummaging or
* how many spin bowlers to play against Australia?
Other issues are potentially even more challenging and more sensitive, for example:
4. Is it ok to invite a man to lunch? Might this be misinterpreted and how can I avoid any such potential misinterpretation?
These issues are of course likely to be more prevalent for women working in particularly male-orientated cultures.
It feels somewhat daunting – daring to write about such a topic, as a man. So I’m putting this blog out to get some thoughts on what advice you would offer women networking for business with men, particularly addressing the four questions above.
Are these challenging issues for woman? What tips can we offer?
For general tips about doing an elevator pitch see https://tonyreiss.com/2013/04/10/elevator-pitching-the-wow-how-now-approach/
For tips on networking with different types of people (how to differentiate useful people from others!) see https://tonyreiss.com/2013/02/25/beware-networking-with-foxes-and-donkeys-around/