GM’s Monthly Column
Basic Rules for Social Networking
I still remember clearly how my social circle evolves in Hong Kong from casual drinks at Lan Kwai Fong to private dinners on the Peak. In a society with intense information overdose, mixing in a good circle does not just guarantee the receipt of right intelligence, but also determines what you can do and where you may go.
Social level varies from one to the other. In a capital city like Beijing, an invitation to a cocktail reception at five-star hotel is no longer able to make an impression. One will have to get invited to a state dinner to call oneself top level socialite. But these glamorous associations all come from years of accumulation, which relies heavily on these basic rules for social networking.
1. Greet people with smile.
When you encounter a guest at a networking event, you can always receive him or her with a gentle handshake. Remember, when you shake hand with a gentleman, you always grab his palm fully. But if she is a lady, then you will just need to hold her last four fingers.
A smile is necessary in accompany with your handshake. When you meet with a senior, you can also slightly nod your head to indicate respect.
2. Include others in your conversation.
It is widely seen in a social event that somebody just sits in a quiet corner, or pass by a crowd he or she doesn’t feel belonging to. Under such circumstances, you can always invite them to join your conversation by introducing them to the rest in your circle.
Remember to introduce juniors to the seniors, gentlemen to ladies, and guests to the hosts. By doing so, you give respect to precedence, and it will help create a pleasant atmosphere for your next discussion.
3. Open a conversation with a question.
Many people have no clue how to talk to strangers, but it can be as easy as asking a simple question. A basic conversation is made with questions and answers, but of course, when it evolves into high level talk, then you will need to find your own way to deal with it.
You can simply ask a stranger when he arrives at the event, what connection he has with the host, or where he comes from. Remember to avoid private or sensitive topics, such as monthly income and political stance.
By following these basic rules for social networking, many doors will be eventually opened to your surprise.
The author Wesley Ng is the newly appointed General Manager to FCGroup.