Katrina shares some common social mistakes she’s witnessed firsthand and how you can avoid being “that guy.”
Do you ever go to a social event and notice that there’s always that one guy that everyone wants to avoid? Are you that guy?! Nobody wants to be that guy.
First impressions count and people tend to recall situations based on their peak moments and how they left off. Sometimes knowing what not to do is more helpful than knowing what to do.
So in the spirit of making sure you’re not that guy here are four things to avoid doing in social settings.
A few weeks ago I was at a conference where we had to get into impromptu teams and pitch the audience. One of the men from another group presented and went on and on with his pitch. He was talking for so long that people were looking at each other in awe because he just would not stop.
He talked longer than anyone else in his group did and had no clue that people were zoning out. The moderator finally had to cut him off and ask him to stop talking.
You don’t want to be that rambler, whether it is in a group setting or in a one-on-one setting.
For those who find socializing to be intimidating or nerve-wracking one of the easiest ways to ease the burden of what to say next is to simply listen rather than talk.
So the next time you’ve gone on a monologue that’s gone on longer than usual, take a moment to pause and let someone else chime in.
2. Not making eye contact
How do you feel when you’re talking to a friend and they’re distracted by the environment or smartphone? The same logic applies for when face-to-face conversations.
Making eye contact is essential for effective communication. It makes the other person feel like they’re being listened to and positively reinforces them by showing them you’re engaged in the conversation at hand.
Avoid looking at your smartphone or around the room when someone else is speaking and make them feel special by giving your undivided attention.
3. Being transactional
A few weeks ago I was at a networking conference, seated with a group of people around a table having a conversation about our careers. Out of nowhere, a woman comes up simply dropping off her business cards, says a few words, then leaves.
Rather than making any meaningful conversations or connections with anyone at the table she obviously just wanted to promote her company. I was so offended I didn’t even pick up the card and others shared the same sentiment.
Even if you’re the type of person who doesn’t enjoy socializing, the high level lesson here is that it’s important to build a human connection with someone rather than just trying to promote yourself or your business off the bat.
4. Interrupting others
Do you ever find yourself in the middle of telling a story when someone else just jumps right in with their two cents? It can be frustrating, especially if you find socializing to be difficult. You feel like you’re in the zone then you’re totally derailed by someone else chiming in!
Of course there are times when this happens in a natural flow of a conversation, but making this a habit can be incredibly annoying to the person who is speaking.
When people are speaking, focus on listening first. If you have something to contribute then chime in at the right time when there’s a natural pause or when the other person has finished speaking.
People love being listened to, so give them the respect that they deserve and save your input for when the time is right, your conversation partner will appreciate this.