‘Tis the season to be jolly! It’s also the season for socializing. We are invited to many holiday events; some for business and some just to have fun and share some holiday cheer. The point is that we are meeting and greeting more people this time of year than any other. It’s a great networking opportunity.

Often these occasions are not about serious networking yet they do provide us with the chance to meet new people and enter into casual conversations about what we do. It’s the perfect time to network without the pressure to “sell” ourselves.

How do you enter into casual conversations with someone new?

Simply introduce yourself and ask the other person to tell you about them. People love to talk about themselves and this opens up the conversation in a casual way. Listen to what they have to say and learn about their business or position.

Offer the gift of connection.

Here is where the holiday giving spirit comes in. What can you do to help this person? Ask them! There may be opportunities for you to introduce them to other possible clients, partners, or referral sources.

When you are open and giving, it opens the door for others to reciprocate.

Take their business card and write on the back where you met them and who you want to introduce them to and make sure to follow up immediately.

Pay it forward and enjoy all your holiday events! You will be surprised how much you will receive in return.

For more tips on how to network, listen to my GPS Your Career Radio podcast with Diane Darling, President of Effective Networking, Inc.