How to work a room at an important networking event

Great

Fortune

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: What’s the best way to network? is written by Carol Leaman, CEO of Axonify.

In the long list of all of the things we have to do to be successful in our careers, networking is one of those activities that can evoke feelings of reluctance, awkwardness, embarrassment and the general sentiment of “Ugh, do I really have to do this?”

Figuring out how to walk into a room full of strangers and have a meaningful, natural, productive conversation can be challenging. All too often, we shrink back to the comfort of furtively searching the room for familiar faces and gravitating to the friendlies we recognize. Before we know it, an hour or two has elapsed, and we’ve accomplished nothing…

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