I was at an event the other week and I got chatting to a very lovely David Israel about how people just want to shove a card in your face at networking events rather than talk and build a strong, sustainable relationship… somehow and don’t ask me how… the conversation got onto how networking is like dating.
Now I am no expert at dating (which may be why I am single), but I could see the connection between the two… you are willing to trust someone and in turn asking someone to accept you, before you give it all up and begin on a whole new level of trust and commitment.
Lets break this down into a simple context… Businesses who go straight for the nightcap won’t sustain it… they will soon be back on the market looking for the next conquest. However for those lucky few who are now “going steady” it gives you butterflies and a level of security.
According to Match.com there are five stages of dating… so lets break these down…
Stage 1: First Meeting/Initial Attraction
In the first stage, you’ve spotted them across the room, you’ve exchanged glances and we have found ourselves “attracted” to a potential partner. This is our initial attraction, we can only hope that the feeling is mutual, that the timing is right, and that we will have an opportunity to explore the possibilities… and you then make your approach. Before either person has said a word your brain has picked up information from clothing, hair, jewellery and they are deciding whether to fight or flight… if they are still there then well done!!!
Stage 2: The First Date/Uncertainty
In stage two, the attraction and uncertainty are there… bubbling away in your tummy… is this right? Is this partner right for me, for my business? According to professional daters this feeling is completely normal and it doesn’t mean that this person is wrong for you. It just means that there is more to know… so get to know them… have a coffee, have a chat, understand where they have come for and their goals for the future… do these tie in with yours at all?
Stage 3: Its Official/Exclusivity
In stage three, they have impressed you, it was so much fun and now you have made the mutual decision to be in a committed and go exclusive. You can now truly begin to create a mutually loving and respectful relationship… it is all fun from here… new experiences and new projects. Take note: Now that you have them don’t take them for granted and let your effort slip.
Stage 4: The nitty gritty/Intimacy
In stage four, we begin to experience a whole new level of people. We are starting to see the less flattering sides; we now know how they cope under pressure, after a few beers and the real individuals. Everyone is feeling a little more relaxed maybe enough to let down the guard. It is now that you begin to truly understand how the other half works in order to create a real solid partnership, or maybe just realise that this is as far as this is going to go… its all go or no go from here.
Stage 5: Separation/Engagement
Stage five is when it comes down to the nail. Time to walk away or to celebrate your commitment… pretty blunt difference hey! So lets tackle the two… first happiness; this is the right person and the right time. You have accepted their faults and you begin to plan your future together, maybe you will plan a party or just send out a press release like normal people. Or on the other hand you walk away… hold your head up high and move on. It is very important in this time to reflect on what went wrong, how next time will be different… but DON’T switch to attack!
At Forward and Thinking we love getting to know our clients and love them getting to know our team. We work in a very open transparent way and we are great family of passionate and experienced professionals who have a great sense of fun and passion for what we do.