Like any social situation, being yourself instead of trying to be somebody else is the way forward – especially when trying to make headway in a business meeting.
That’s according to a management tip by Harvard Business Review, adapted from Peter Bregman’s ‘How to Attend a Conference as Yourself’ – which argues that being yourself in the ‘status-driven environment of business conferences’ is the best way to shackle those pre-meeting fears.
“Conferences can make even the most outgoing person nervous,” says Bregman, cited by reuters.com. “In such a socially intense environment, it’s easy to have a mini identity crisis: Who am I? Why would people want to talk to me?”
Push worries to one side and resist the urge to name drop in order to approve social status, claims Bregman, as this can alienate fellow employees congregating at the chosen conference space.
Furthermore, get to know people as people; regardless of whether their job title is chief operating officer or chief cleaner. This way, preconceptions are left at the door.
“Sure, it’s nerve-wracking to introduce yourself without immediately identifying your role. But try asking open-ended questions and getting personal. Ask your fellow conference attendee what she’s enjoying about the conference, or even how far she travelled to get there,” he added, also cited by hbr.org.