Saleshq.com provides a simple list of suggestions for building rapport and connecting with others at networking events. I’m not certain the list is all that remarkable, but I was struck by a couple of tips:
5. Show interest in your conversational partner by actively listening and giving verbal feedback. Maintain eye contact. Never glance around the room while they are talking to you.
6. Listen more than you talk.
Clearly you have to talk to build rapport, but the actual bonding occurs when your mouth is closed. I especially enjoyed the suggestion to “never” look around the room when someone is speaking to you. I have a friend who does this and I instantly know he has checked out of the conversation.
Why is it so hard to simply listen? I know there are times when I struggle with it too.