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Schmoozin'

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
I just got back from the swearing in of the new senators in Lansing. There was a bunch of BS and schmoozing going on, and I personally hate it - I am a shy gal by nature ::oops:

If someone is sitting next to me I will talk to them or whatever, but I am not into kissing ass (unless you buy me a drink first ;)) so I find it hard to just go up to someone and start a conversation when I have no idea who they are, what they do, etc. It would be different if I heard them speak about a project or something, but doing it blindly is hard for me.

How 'bout you all? It seems most of the planner's I met are very outgoing who have no problem shooting the breeze with strangers. What about at conferences and seminars, bars, etc.? Have you been able to combat this shyness, if so how? If not, go to Denver so I have someone to talk to :)
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
See ya in Denver baby!

Ice breaking isnt always easy, depending on the person(s), but once the conversation starts I have no problems schmoozing. I think I developed that skill from all of the public speaking I have to do.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
I'm a blatant schmoozeer. My wife says I talk to way too many strangers. I talk to people at banks, in line at stores, just about everywhere. I get a 99% positive response. People need to get back to being generally friendly. :)

I like talking to strangers. (Brian - this is your set up line)
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
El Guapo said:
I like talking to strangers. (Brian - this is your set up line)
You know me Guap - I stay away from the easy ones...
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
i can make friends with a fence post. i used to be way shy and introverted but i realized i had to be the kinda person that i would want to come up and talk to me. so now i go up to folks and make nice

its great fun and they dont know im actualy shy

:)
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
I don't tend to say much until spoken to. But once I start, I generally open up pretty well.
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
You won't see me...

I asked the boss again... same result.

No, you can't go to Denver. It &^%$ing pisses me off. Points he made, and the answers I'd have LOVED to given:

Point: I didn't let the City Recorder go to a convention in Ohio.
Answer: Yeah, well when that dumb &^%$ writes you 3/4 mil in grants... send her.

Point: With the budget as bad as it is, I can't let people go out of state.
Answer: Well, MY budgets are healthy. So healthy, in fact, the rest of the &^%$ing city dips into them because they can't make it on their own! I have $9,000 for travel and training I haven't used!

Point: Wait for a good conference in Portland.
Answer: Ah, the airfare... Well, take a check on prices, boss, It'd only cost me $225 to fly! If I charge you $.35 a mile to Portland, that'd be 300 miles, or $105... a big savings of a whopping $120!

Point: The people of the city wouldn't understand spending $1600 on a conference.
Answer: Do you? If so, grow some &^%$# and tell them to go $#@% themselves if they don't understand.

That's the end of the rant for today.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,877
Points
38
A skill I learned in my years at Ball State....how to schmooze at conferences.

People that know me outside of the planning world tend to think of me as shy, but put me at a planning conference (particularly APA national) and I talk to just about anyone. I take great pride in looking at how many states I can get business cards from when I attend APA. My current record in 21 (including 3 Canadian provinces, and New Zealand) from APA in Toronto.

Conferences are all about finding new contacts, getting up to date on stuff, and most importantly, socializing and having fun. I just lose the shyness when I'm in planner mode or doing a presentation....I can't explain it, I just assume that subliminally it was ingrained in me during college.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
If I have something in common to talk to someone about, or if they are interested in hearing about things I do I can talk all day. But if they don't break the ice first, I usually won't say much to them.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,877
Points
38
SW MI Planner said:
If not, go to Denver so I have someone to talk to :)
Which begs the question, and I'll start another thread with a poll...how many of us are going to Denver?

Off to make the poll....
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
I think I was born talking. Like Guap, I'll chat with anyone anywhere - the grocery store, the gym, the doctor's office, the deli. I think maybe planners are a little more pre-disposed to chattiness given the nature of the job - having to work with a lot of different personalitiles. And especially at conferences. I HATE not knowing anyone, so I try to make a friend early and start networking.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
I'm with you SW, I'm no outgoing planner type. To me starting a conversation with a stranger is very weird - like flashing them or something. Public presentations aren't any better. Once I know someone its different of course. And I'm actually half as quiet as I used to be. My daughter is 2 and she's the same way no matter how much we encourage her to be nice to strangers.

Unfortunately there's no way I'm going to Denver so we can't start an introverted planner support group just yet.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
Ice breaking isnt always easy, depending on the person(s), but once the conversation starts I have no problems schmoozing
Yah, I can talk your ear off when I get talking - and am actually very friendly. I 'bless' strangers in the grocery store when they sneeze and say please and thank you. It's just that first initial contact - walking up to a complete stranger and starting a conversation. That's what kills me.

Maybe that can be one of my goals for the year, is going up to a complete stranger and start talking to them. I think at the conference that it would be easier, than say, a bar - don't want people thinking I'm trying to pick them up or anything.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
5,846
Points
30
I'll talk to anyone, too, and I'll come away knowing some detail of their life. Every one has a story, and I can find something interesting about any one.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I have no problem making chit-chat with strangers, and I do it a lot more now than I used to. It's *normal* up here to chit chat with everyone... which embarasses the hell out of my friends from Los Angeles when I go down to visit.

But put in a room full of schmoozers and I tend to clam up. I think when there are a ton of people in a room, I have a hard time picking out the nice, talkable types... bad judgement on my part probably.

But it gets easier and easier every year.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I don't like schmoozing. it seems false and phony. I hate having to make small talk with the people who come into my office. I really don't care what you did over the holidays or what the weather is like. Not really important in making decisions realted to work. I have been told that people see me as standoffish and rude because of this, but I just don't have the time or interest to talk about nothing and subjects that really don't matter.

I am relatvely good at public speaking and making presentations, it actually bothers people that I know teh answers to their questions immediately at a presentation as i map out most problem questions in advance.

Well of to the psychologist to deal with item 1.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I used to be shy, but pretty much gave that up in college. As I have done more public speaking it has become much easier. The other thing that helped has been traveling alone. When I am out on the road I tend to find people are surprised that you would go off somewhere by yourself, and are curious to know more. They open up and I have learned of some great places to visit, trails to hike, etc. After making my few initial contacts when I came to Wisconsin, I found that they usually introduced me to the people they knew. Now I can head off to just about any conference and there will be twenty or more people I know.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
I'm usually a bit reserved around new people, but I find conferences easier - partly because most people are in the same situation as you: they won't know many other people either, and you're all there with a common interest. I went to a conference in Australia by myself in 2001, and went back for a 2 week holiday last October with free accommodation the whole way as I was visiting friends I made at the conference!
 
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