Monday, June 20, 2005

What Do People REALLY Think?

You're walking into a business reception, and looking around, you recognize several people; Some are good friends, and many are those you keep running into at most of the business events you attend. Several of the people you see have passed opportunities your way over the last several months.

Before leaving the office for this reception you were in a lively discussion with another partner in your firm about business networks and developing referrals. The other partner had suggested that attending receptions and the like were basically silly. He/she had never really gotten much in the way of new business by working the "circuit" and considered it a huge waste of time and money. Your response was, "balderdash! I've been showered with opportunities ever since I started getting out to mingle."

The question to be answered here is, "why?" If both partners were to attend every event side-by-side yet one seems to flourish, and the other not... what gives?

The answer is; perceptions. No one fits into every crowd. The key is to know the crowd you fit.

This article at HBS Working Knowledge looks at "personal identity"; the person your audience perceives you to be. The main point we might take away from the discussion is; you are whom you are. Trying to fit into any other skin will not produce what you're looking for.

Honesty starts with "self". As soon as you know whom you are in business, the business that is yours will come.