Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Breaking Out of Your Clumps at Group Events

Do you remember from your school days the proverb, "Birds of a feather, flock together?" It is a truism, isn't it, and not just for birds. It is a natural tendency in humans to want to stay in groups with others we feel comfortable with - either people we already know or those with whom we share similar interests.

When it comes to business events like large training groups, business functions and networking events staying within your groups or your clumps may not be a good idea. What's usually your main reason for attending these events? Would it be for exposure? Even if your goal is 'only' to learn, these are opportunities to get to know other coaches, marketers, etc. If you congregate with just your known circle, you are not allowing yourself to make meaningful connections and possibly reach new people and companies that you'd like to do business with. You may also have the personality or type of business someone else needs. Would it be fair to deprive others of getting to know you?

Breaking out of your clumps or clusters may be challenging but it can be done. Develop the mindset of a Host who has to circulate among everyone in the room just to be sure they are comfortable. This could mean asking yourself, Who can I help to establish new contacts? Which two people can I introduce to each other-whose businesses could support each others? Which speaker impacted me that I can sincerely give a compliment to?

Just a reminder, because I've been guilty of this too. You may be nervous, but force yourself not to talk too much. Make brief comments then ask questions that will elicit positive responses. In so doing you take the pressure off yourself and the person to whom you're speaking will be thrilled at your level of interest in what he or she has to say.

I invite you to post your Comments and share your experience on this topic.


  1. I agree with this post. Do think that breaking out of our clumps seems to be a little more challenging amongst African Americans?

  2. I am not an authority on that, Marc, so I'm not sure. What I do know is that how we perceive ourselves has a lot to do with how we believe others view us, which is not always the reality.

    The idea behind being 'others focused' at events is that we become so focused on helping someone else that we forget about how we think others might be thinking of us. Does that make sense to you? Based on your comments you share my thoughts but I'd love to hear more of what you think.