My friend Sage Vivant sent me a link to Guy Kawasaki's blog post on the art of the schmooze. Kawasaki is a local business luminary and now that I'm sort of interested in business, at least in terms of book promotion, I'm finding his advice helpful and not as foreign as I would have a year ago!
I like his emphasis on the follow-through email after you meet someone and his idea that helping others is part of schmoozing rather than just looking to what you can get for yourself. I really enjoy being able to help people within the limits of my low-wattage beam. Heaven knows we could all use some more kindness in the world and truly connecting with readers and other writers is a genuine pleasure for me. The numbers and dollars are frankly distasteful.
My husband took a seminar with Kawasaki a few years ago and the piece of advice he remembers is that you should always be nice to the administrative assistants. It's surprising how many people aren't. Then again, in our myopic world, maybe not so surprising.
Here's to schmoozing! Especially in hotels :-).
Interesting how many of my writing friends all tend to be on the same wave length, Donna. I'm inserting this little snippet my friend John Ettore posted late last week:
The following is recounted by The New Republic's John Judis
"One way to judge people’s character is how they treat those who are beneath them in status or authority. Take ABC television newsman Sam Donaldson, who retired today. I don't know Donaldson, and don’t watch Sunday news shows, but I had one experience with him many years ago when I was following former Rep. Dick Gephardt around for a story.
Gephardt had a luncheon interview scheduled at ABC in Washington, and I accompanied him. The various bigshots, George Will, Cookie Roberts etc., were having lunch at their executive dining room. I was directed to a chair up against the wall and away from the table, where I could watch, but not participate in, the proceedings.
I wasn’t introduced to anyone or offered lunch. Five minutes into the luncheon, as the interview was beginning, Donaldson disappeared into the dining room, and came back with a lunch on a tray for me. It was a minor, but a noble, gesture, and the kind of thing that I remember about people."
Thanks for sharing that, Neve. I'll always see Sam Donaldson with a new respect.
It takes so little to do these things, but they are rare and admirable indeed.
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