December 2021 Leader Letter

Emotionally Intelligent Holiday Networking

Learn how to use emotional intelligence as you grow your social circle!

By Andy Tonge

For many, the holidays are a wonderful time that brings people together. This can make for tremendous networking opportunities. As a leader, we may be invited to parties, get-togethers, and gatherings with the chance to extend social circles. Make the most of your holiday networking by exercising your emotional intelligence and following these tips!

Active listening. It can be easy during the holidays to meet a lot of people, see new faces, and hear new names. Make a lasting impression by being an active listener during conversations. Not only will this make a great first impression, but by remembering an interesting fact or anecdote, you can begin to build a stronger connection.

Show understanding. As you work to extend your social network, be wary of how others are responding. If others around you begin to withdraw, try to engage them and bring them back into the conversation, but make sure to pay attention to their response. If they do not want to participate, don’t pressure them or make them feel bad. Some topics, especially during the holidays, can be difficult for others to discuss.

Full focus. The first impression can define who you are in another’s eyes. Make a lasting impression by giving your new connection your full focus. Avoid distractions, such as your phone or other smart device, during conversation.

Learn and grow. The holidays can be a great time to assess your skills, including your strengths and weaknesses. Are there areas of networking, especially during the holiday period, that you struggle with? Make note and create a plan to overcome it. By understanding your skills, you can position yourself to succeed with your networking goals this holiday period!

Additional Resources:

Emotional Intelligence: The Other Kind Of Smart

Tips for Surviving Awkward Holiday Party Talk

Become a Better Conversationalist