Powerful Icebreakers: 4 Tips
Aditi Ramchandani asks Jasbina Ahluwalia: That’s a great point. I never thought about that. In terms of sending things of interest, I think that’s really great advice.
I’ve tried that before and it’s really well received. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t do that. They are delighted when they get a note from someone like that. It leaves an impression, for sure.
Thank you for your thoughts about senior executives.
Powerful Icebreakers: Network With Ease
Now we’ll move on to icebreakers. Do you have any value-adding icebreakers to help people to network with ease?
For example, people go to different networking events, whether it’s in a professional or personal setting. They may not always know how to approach someone, strike up a conversation or carry a conversation.
It’s the same idea that we were talking about with senior executives. Now we’re talking about general networking.
Are there different icebreakers that you can suggest that we can keep in our back pocket and pull out whenever we need them?
4 Tips Powerful Icebreakers
- Eye Contact
- Ask Questions
- Start the Conversation
Powerful Icebreakers: Valuable Skill
Everything that I’ve discussed with the senior executives would apply to general networking.
Keep in mind that honing your skills in breaking the ice is very valuable.
When you’re perceived as skillful in your ability to break the ice, others anticipate that you can be skillful in relating to clients, customers, colleagues, supervisors and everyone in the ecosystem, which is tremendously helpful.
Powerful Icebreakers: Connection
Connection is the key to effective networking.
There are some helpful ways to create connection.
Powerful Icebreakers: Eye Contact
There is eye contact. It all comes full circle here.
Make eye contact, smile, lean forward when you talk to someone and maintain a good attitude.
Powerful Icebreakers: Ask Questions
Another way to connect is to ask questions to learn what someone is passionate about.
It doesn’t have to be about work. It doesn’t have to be the topic that you would normally expect.
You don’t want it to be a tense handshake with a conversation on the same old things.
Powerful Icebreakers: Start The Conversation
Let’s say that you walk into the room at a networking event, you look around and think, “I don’t know anyone.” You might feel self-conscious at that point.
Identify someone who is standing alone, hanging out by the food or who looks a little bit out of place as well. That person probably feels similar to how you do.
Can you imagine the impact you would make by initiating contact with that person? That person is likely to be grateful.
It could be the boss of someone who will see the two of you engaged in conversation.
It’s a really good energy. That’s something you can do for the times when you think, “There is no one that I know.”
Find someone and make their day. There’s the whole gatekeeper of your destiny thing. You never know. That person could be that for you.
Powerful Icebreakers: Reflection
That’s a really good idea. I’m laughing because I’ve been in that situation.
As many networking events as I’ve been to, I don’t know if it ever gets easier. You have to push through and pull out these tools when you get there.
I’ve been in the situation where I’ve walked into the room and didn’t know anyone. I was self-conscious for a second.
I had to stop myself and say, “Okay, you’ve done this before. You’ve got this. It’s not a big deal.”
At that point, I didn’t see anyone who was by themselves. I did see two people talking who were engaged with each other.
I jumped in and said, “Hey, do you mind if I join the conversation?” When I do that, people are usually very open to that.
As intimidating as it is to do it, after I’ve done it, I feel like it’s not a big deal.
That’s great. If you do that with confidence, it’s appealing. People will say, “Yes, come on in.”
Do you have any powerful icebreaker questions or tips? Drop a line with those tips in the comments section below.
The above is an excerpt from Aditi’s interview with Jasbina Ahluwalia.
The entire interview transcript is at: Jasbina Ahluwalia NetIP (Network of Indian Professionals) Interview – How to Network in Any Setting
Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show