One thing I’ve noticed regarding networking during the pandemic is how people are connecting, or more accurately, not connecting.
During more “normal” times, networking had a certain forgiveness built into it. For example, if you went to a networking meeting and met several people, you’d connect with some more than others, and that would feel normal. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if someone didn’t make the effort to connect more deeply, or if you were talked at rather than talked with; you could simply excuse yourself and find someone else with whom you could talk.
Yet during the pandemic, this has been made harder because much of the networking is more individually focused. There is no where to excuse yourself to, so if you find yourself in a conversation where you’re being talked at, you’re kind of stuck. Is it just me, or does this make you want to cringe, too?
Talking at someone, rather than with them, is never a great idea. During this heightened time, however, it feels even more noticeable, as our filters are set differently, more sensitively.
I’ve made a short video that talks about this a bit more. As you watch it, ask yourself, what does it feel like to you when a genuine connection is made, vs. being talked at?