Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

People Skills and Business Conversation

Last night I got home late from a business related dinner that lasted 3 hours... and didn't feel like it took even half an hour. It was a success and I had conversations going the whole time. The reason I bring this experience up is because of three things I noticed/realized while at the dinner:

- A decent chunk of corporate spend is on "you pat my back, I'll pat your back" type of expenses. In this case, what I noticed was one company buying awards and dinner for another in return for business and acknowledgement. This isn't just a "returning the favor, we're so grateful" practice nor is it unique to the situation I witnessed.

- At a typical business dinner, forget trying to discuss literature, politics, world events, etc. The best conversations where when I joked about how being James Bond is a bigger honor than stepping on the moon. My point was there have been only a handful of actors who have played James Bond versus the 20+ astronauts who have stepped on the moon. Surprisingly, this comment that I made in jest ended up turning into an interesting and lively 20 minute discussion on everything James Bond.

- Football is a male's best friend. Golf comes in close second. And when I mentioned that my cousin recently made the European PGA Tour, everyone went bonkers. I was a smash hit (well, just at that moment). But the best part is now everyone will at least remember me for that; making these types of connections (and even having people remember who you are) is an important part of business/networking.

So if you're ever at business dinners, make sure you talk about golf, football, and movies; don't forget to bring the awards/gifts!

P.S. I am grossly oversimplifying how the business world works, but it was funny and somewhat surreal to be a part of what people view as "typical business".

No comments: