Here’s a quick puzzle for you. Read carefully but don’t look ahead to the answer at the bottom. See if you can figure it out.
David meets Jenny. Jenny introduces David to Mike and Tom, and Tom in turn introduces David to Samantha. Samantha also knows Mike, and through Mike and Samantha, David learns that his new friend Molly knows his old friend Michelle. Michelle doesn’t yet know Samantha and Mike but thinks she met Tom at one time, so asks David to re-introduce her to him.
The question: which person changed the arc of David’s life?
Answer: you never know who you just met, because you can’t predict the future.
That’s why learning the simple art of how to meet someone, how to look them in the eye, how to repeat or write down their name so you remember, how to follow up with a little note of “glad to meet you” or connecting via LinkedIn, might propel your life and career forward in ways that you can’t possibly imagine.
The alternative? Everyone in the above example never connects and they all forget about David because he didn’t look them in the eye, didn’t shake hands, didn’t ask their names, and didn’t follow up, all of which is not going to help anyone in the end.
Learn how to meet people. Learn how to connect people.