It can take bravery to connect with others. Being the first person to make contact, to suggest an invitation, to ask for something, can leave us feeling quite exposing.
I have just accompanied my colleagues Emma and Charlotte on a trip to Alicante where Communication collective were leading presenting on camera workshops.
On the trip, I realised Charlotte was training a participant that I had worked with for a few hours the year before. I had not seen or spoken to this person since that time, they work in an entirely different field, live in a different country and primarily speak a different language.
It would have been very easy for me make small pleasantries or not engage with this person at all.
However, I knew I had some time free on the trip which coincided with theirs. I made contact and asked them for a coffee. Although knowing nothing about this person except an swift meeting a year ago, we spent a thoroughly enjoyable hour together learning about each other’s work and family, and parted discussing another meet in the not to distant future.
Fear means we too often hold back from making that initial contact, but stepping forward could be the one thing that differentiates you from the (cautious) pack. The person you initiate contact with will no doubt be feeling the same networking anxiety and will appreciate your kindness and courage in making contact.