The most comfortable person in the room

We all, from time to time, experience situations when we feel uncomfortable in a group setting, that being in work meetings, networking events or in informal conversations. Being an introvert and shy myself, I used to be, more often than not, on the uncomfortable part of the room. After I started organising a monthly event, doing public speaking, facilitating workshops, and regularly meeting new people, I now find myself comfortable in most group interactions. And I now realise how much I can help others around me to feel comfortable in the environment and engaged in the conversation. It’s like being the host…

If you’re the most comfortable person in a group, you’re the host. Look around you, check the group dynamic and facilitate the interactions between people. Break the ice, introduce yourself, be the mad one who takes the first step. Make introductions. Bring beverages. Ask questions, listen, set the tone of the conversation. Smile. Tell a story that will make people laugh. Gently bring quiet people into the conversation (but be careful to not put them on the spot). Be the one who says what no one else feels comfortable to say. Until everyone else is comfortable, the group dynamic is working well and your role of being the host is redundant.