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08/27/10
Workshop discussion. First year on the job
Filed under: First Year on Job
Posted by: site admin @ 1:58 pm

You might call these things “zeroth order skills.”

In the Boston ACS meeting workshop on ‘First
year on the job for industrial positions,’ which
could be for academic and governmental
roles as well, we had a lively discussion.

One question a participant asked:  What do you
do when you enter a room full of people and you
know no one?

Well, (1) if you were the speaker, a panel
discussant or
other figure, it is not a bad idea to
ask for the organizer
or chairperson or host(ess). 

Now, the usual case is an (2) attendee entering
a room. 
There are two or three strategies.  Of
course, before
entering the room it is not a bad
idea (2a) to visit the
restroom and check yourself
in the mirror.  Entering
the room, one strategy is
(2b) to look for others who
are individuals and look
like they are open to your
introduction.  Similarly,
you can (2c) observe different
groups that seem to
be open to accepting new people in.


An alternate approach can be used when food or
drink
is being served.  One can (3a) approach the
bar or table
and “queue up.”  While waiting (3b)one
can engage in
small talk and introductions, which can
last beyond getting
one’s drink.

When entering groups or meeting individuals, it is
not bad to offer compliments, ask non personal
questions or add something to conversations by
keeping things flowing in a positive vein.

In a sense, the is a zeroth order element of networking.

A follow-up question came from a very professional
young lady, “What should I do when people call me
Sean?”  “I don’t feel flattered when people call me that
and it is not my name,” she added.   “My name is
Shauntrece.“  I can understand this somewhat.

What I might do is offer the following kind of
anecdote.  “Once I was in a meeting room and
someone
came to the doorway and yelled, “Sean!” 
Three guys
immediately got up and looked at the door, 
I didn’t get up.

I honestly like my given name, Shauntrece,
and feel much 
better when people use it. 
Could you please?”


Offering a more negative comment does not feel
good for either the speaker or the recipient.

Another professional in the room had an unusual
name
for America.  Her name is Aimee and she
asked how
to help people to use it.  Another attendee
spoke
up offering that these were two of the first
person
pronouns in English.  So, she might say,
“My name
is Aimee, you know like two first personal
pronouns
in English, ‘I-me’” 

Use what you prefer to be called and give them
a ‘thought hook’.

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