Business is all about relationships. Embracing old ones that feel like friendships and making new ones that open frontiers. Building and maintaining relationships is the literal lifeblood of business. Therefore, we schmooze.
Golf outings, sporting events, lunch dates, dinner meetings, conferences, trade shows, cocktail parties, and destination retreats are just a few examples of how we put the fun in the fundamentals of business relationships.
Schmoozing, however, can come at a cost. Many an executive has shared with me the damage they’ve done over the years by eating too much, drinking too often and sleeping too little in the course of schmoozing or getting schmoozed.
Here are 5 road-tested techniques you can employ to enjoy the social aspect of business while avoiding the downside of schmoozing:
1) Anticipate. Know ahead of time that you’re likely to encounter pressure to eat and drink with others. DO IT and enjoy…..in moderation. When you reach your pre-determined limit for food and drink, don’t feel guilty about politely saying no. In 30 years of coaching I’ve never heard of an executive losing a deal because he or she didn’t do shots of tequila.
2) Alternate drinks with a glass of water or soda water with lemon. You can have the fun of socializing without the calories (and potential calamities) of too much booze.
3) Eat just one of everything and gorge on nothing. We don’t get fat from eating. We get fat from eating too much. Sample and graze. Avoid the trap of nervous eating. Breathe, relax and enjoy.
4) Have an exit strategy for making a gracious exit. Don’t feel as if you have to pull an all-nighter to show appreciation. Be firm yet polite when its time to go. Often times your peers will welcome your example.
5) Act like a pro. Events don’t dictate your behavior. Experienced pros know the ropes when it comes to schmoozing and leave amateur hour to the rookies. Exuding confidence and self-control to your employees and business associates is always preferable to having to apologize to them the next morning.
Follow these 5 steps and both you and your business will be all the healthier for them.
Executive Health and Performance Coach Billy Sheehan partners with time-challenged professionals to reengineer the relationship between their personal health and professional careers. The resulting balance creates the optimal environment for achieving the highest levels of long-term success.
Learn more at www.billythecoach.com