Want to Build Better Relationships? Be the Host, Not the Guest

October 19, 2010

One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Gandhi:  “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I think that simple sentence speaks volumes, and I have a copy of it in my office to remind myself of it each day. We can’t change the world. We can only change ourselves. And by changing ourselves, we change the world.  Well, the same can be said for your marketing efforts. Here’s what I mean.

The next time you go to a marketing event, don’t act like a guest, act like the host. I read this sage piece of advice in a great book, Don’t Keep Me a Secret, by Bill Cates. By simply “being the host,” you change your entire persona.  “Being the host” forces you to step out more. Yes, perhaps even a bit beyond your comfort zone.   But, hey, that reminds me of another one of my favorite quotes: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  – Neale Donald Walsch . So get out there and “be the host.”  Here are some specific examples from Don’t Keep Me a Secret,  that illustrate the difference.

Guest Host
Takes a passive role Takes an active role
More reserved More outgoing
Waits to be introduced Takes initiative
Often feels awkward Helps others feel relaxed
Waits to be approached Initiates conversations
Waits for invitation to activities Helps facilitate activities
Stays in one place Mingles, makes introductions

You get the idea. Have fun with it. The holidays are just around the corner, so there will be plenty of parties to go to and plenty of opportunities to practice your “hosting” skills. If it feels overwhelming to do all of these things at once, choose just one change for each event you attend, and work on that one thing. Before you know it, you will have created whole set of new, powerful, relationship-building habits.

1 Comment

  1. Brian says:

    Thanks Nora. For me, being a host is lot like fund raising. I’m terrified to make the first call or connection, but once I do then I realize it’s not so painful after all.

    P.S. I touched up that table. NC.

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