One of the most annoying things ever is going to a networking event, striking up a conversation with someone, and watching them stop paying attention to you as they get distracted by other people or things.
Here’s what to do when you feel like you’re being ignored in a work setting where making new connections is the point of it all.
Keep your eyes peeled
This can really come in handy.
A blog post on the website for Greene Resources explains why you should “overcome the feeling of being ignored” while at a networking session, after mentioning body language signals to look for.
“One pitfall of which to be aware is getting ignored while trying to join a conversation. The best way to avoid this is to monitor body language as described previously. In addition, avoid situations in which two people are already engaged in a discussion and coming across as if they are not open to others joining,” it says. “You can always come back around after the conversation has ended. If you do approach a person or group and are ignored, do not let this affect the rest of your night. Find another group more welcoming, or someone you already know, and engage in a conversation.”
Project the enthusiasm you want from others
Ariella Coombs, Director of Marketing & Content Strategy at Work It Daily, writes on the site about why people may not be talking to you at networking sessions. Her first point is that you may seem “uninviting.”
This tip makes it clear that you have to act the way you want others to treat you — so you should check your behavior.
“People strike up conversations with people who seem genuine, personable, and excited to chat. However, if you’re nervous, intimidated, or bored, you can come across as uninviting, which will discourage people from starting conversations with you,” she writes. “When you attend networking events, make sure you’re smiling, excited, and genuinely happy to be there and meet new people. Not only will it encourage people to walk over and say hello, but it will also give you a sneaky confidence boost!”
Politely end the conversation and find someone else to speak with
Cut your losses — sometimes, you just have to go and talk to someone else if you’re having trouble connecting. Just make sure that you have another person in mind.
So end the conversation respectfully, get the person’s contact information, and move on.