Network Like a Toddler and You’ll Be the Most Successful Adult in the Room
Share your toys and play nice to make connections in business and life.
Networking is a must for everybody.
Building social connections is essential in business and life.
As adults, we can lose touch with that part of ourselves that just wants to play with the other kids. That side of us that craves social interaction for the sake of togetherness.
Networking can make you feel pressured to be something you’re not. You can become preoccupied with an outcome or ulterior motive.
If you hate networking or think you’re not good at it, why not step back and remember what it felt like to always want to get out there and be part of the action.
I spend my days watching tiny tots interact, and there are definitely some lessons we can take from them.
If you want to be better at networking, just access your inner toddler.
Here’s how the kids do it:
Work the playground.
Anyone who’s spent any time with toddlers knows they’ll play with just about anyone. They go from person to person, inserting themselves into every situation and making an impression.
When my daughter was little, I’d take her to the park.
I was always impressed at how she’d find a group of kids and just start playing with them. If they decided they didn’t want to play with her, she’d just move along until she found someone else. She didn’t stop until she’d found her new friends. She didn’t care about who didn’t want to play with her. She was looking for someone who did.
Network like a toddler by working the room and keep going until you’ve found your people. You might need to meet many people before someone sticks. But if you keep going and don’t get discouraged by the people who reject you, you’ll have the stamina to keep going until you find a group who wants to play.
Hoarding toys, pushing, and grabbing will only get you in time out, so play nice. The kids who have the most fun are the ones who know how to co-operate and share.
When you approach a situation willing and ready to be respectful and generous, it gives you an edge over pushy or aggressive people.
Don’t believe the hype. Nice guys don’t finish last. Being kind and being a sucker are two different things, and nice kids get invited to more playdates.
Share your toys.
When you share your toys, other people want to share their toys with you. It doesn’t mean you have to give everyone everything you have. It just means that if you let them use your fire engine, they might lend you their bike.
It never hurts to create a reciprocal relationship founded on generosity and trust. You might even find someone who has that Hotwheels you need to complete your set.
Think outside the playpen.
A box is a shoe for a toddler, a blanket is a tent, a cup is a hammer…you get the idea. Nothing is as it seems to a child. They solve problems creatively and are natural innovators. Everything is fantastic, and the challenges are fun.
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They don’t have preconceived notions holding them back. They see the world through a different lens and actively shape it to suit their needs. When you think outside the playpen, you can also shape your world.
The more imaginative you are, the more fun you’ll have, which makes problem-solving easier and solutions more abundant.
Take a time out if you need one.
We all make mistakes; we all say and do the wrong thing once in a while. If you take your time out like a champ, it shows strong moral character and humility.
If you’ve done something to offend someone or if you’ve made a bad choice, saying sorry and making amends shows that you can be more than your mistakes, and you can do better.
Taking your time out shows that you understand the lesson and can be trusted again.
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With these tips in mind, you’ll be confident and eager to get started.
Nobody likes being around someone who tantrums.
In my daycare, tantrums lead directly to time out. If you can hold your temper when things get hot, you show that you are mature and level headed.
Keeping your cool makes the grown-ups in the room respect you. It shows that you can be a good role model and leader to the other kids.
Networking can be stressful, but if you approach it with your inner toddler’s best parts, it can be much more fun and productive.
Now that you know how to network like a toddler, you can go out and take the world by storm.
Pack up your juice box, grab a snack, and get yourself to the playground!
Thanks for reading!😊
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