Being a lawyer gives you a lot of scope to socialize with people, whether it’s in large gatherings or a one-to-one meeting in a coffee house. Whichever case you’re involved in, think about all of your mannerisms before you head out to network with high profile clients and other accomplished superiors of your field at cocktail parties, dinners, and coffee meetings.
Although the current trend of virtual meetings and online networking has reduced the number of personal interactions and meetings up to a large extent, the good old basics of networking with people and building contacts is still robust. To build on your etiquette as a lawyer, check out this quick list of everything you need to know about networking etiquette:
1. Watch What You Wear
The way you dress and the style you display is nothing but an extension of your own personality. And your dressing sense says a lot about you. It defines your thinking and mindset, how much pride you take in being who you are, and your personal mantra. Your clothes and accessories express your way of working and managing things as well as your moods. So, pay heed towards what you are putting on your back.
2. Carry Your Identity Always
Yes, this is what your business cards are for! When you have been invited to a social gathering or you happen to catch up with someone at Starbucks, make sure you are carrying your business cards with you. Keep them in proper card case so that they remain crisp and tidy. Make sure that your business card has of your updated information.
3. Encourage Handshaking
This is sure shot way to establish warmth in a professional meeting. No, it does not mean that you need to become overly personal; it’s simply a confident and friendly handshake to the person you are meeting with. This displays your confidence level and that you are pleased to be in his or her company.
4. Avoid Seclusion
Avoid isolated and introverted behavior, especially on the occasions of parties and cocktail dinners. Try to give off an approachable and gregarious demeanor and, if possible, give a handsome display of your sense of humor. This is the most certain way to draw people’s attention towards you, even in the midst of a thick crowd. Being overly shy or giving off a stand-offish vibe will only alienate people from you, which could prove to be counterproductive for your work and reputation.
5. Stay Updated On Current Affairs
Always have a couple of current happenings and hot burnishing topics ready on your finger tips whenever you plan to see someone in a group or alone, especially if it is your first meeting with the person or group. During a first meeting, people usually don’t have anything to talk about apart from business. Current affairs is a great topic for most occasions.
6. Stick To Basic Manners
What you learned as a child still holds the same level of significance even today. This simply means that you do not forget to use the good old PLEASE and THANK YOU! It always adds a soft touch and makes the interaction much pleasing.
7. Establish Camaraderie With Professionalism
Be communicative and hold witty conversations with people while networking. Also be an attentive listener. Maintain eye contact whenever someone is talking to you and back up your interaction with a smile. However, do not start sharing personal details about your recent break up or the habits of your pet cat! Also, be light hearted and stay detached from drama by being sporting for tongue in cheek humor.
8. Avoid Distractions
Nothing seems to be more irreverent and annoying than sitting with a person who is more interested in his phone, tablet, or any other engagement than the meeting itself. So, take care of this etiquette specifically. Turn off your mobile phone while conversing (or at least put it on silent mode).
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