cbareport_Oct12 - page 28

October 2012 CBA REPORT
Young Lawyers Section
The CBA Young Lawyers Section is open to all attorneys age 36 or younger or in his or her first five years of practice
regardless of age. For more information on getting involved in the many professional, social and community service
activities of the YLS, contact Kathy Grant at (513) 699-4016 or
Networking Tips from a Non-Pro
By Stacy A. Cole, YLS Chair
Meet and Mingle with Newly Minted Attorneys
Join the YLS and mentoring participants from the Supreme Court of Ohio Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program to
celebrate with the new members of the Ohio and Kentucky Bars at the annual Bar Bash. Food and drink will be provided.
Thursday, Nov. 8 • 5 – 7 p.m.
Local’s Sports Bar & Grill ,19 East Seventh Street
Register at
Bar Bash
With holiday parties around the
corner, now is a good time to think about
how to schmooze without feeling uncom-
fortable and even make some meaningful
connections. I have always been cursed
with being terribly shy and the idea of
working a room (especially without a
wingman) used to make my stomach
turn over. But over the last seven years,
it has gotten easier by keeping in mind
some obvious and not-so-obvious (at
least to me) pointers that I’ve learned
from watching others and fumbling my
way through it.
Here are a few tips that just might
help you avoid learning the hard way.
1. The Dead Fish v. The Death
. I can’t even remember when I first
learned that a good, firm handshake
is absolutely vital. And the reason I
am including this is because I am still
surprised by the, well, wide variety of
handshakes I get from both young and
seasoned attorneys. A limp handshake
gives the impression that you are weak or
snooty, while the “why are you breaking
my hand?!” handshake says you might be
a little over eager. Odds are that you are
none of those things. But, your hand-
shake speaks volumes. Find the happy
2. Nametags go on the right
. I
learned this one from a good friend and
development professional on day one.
That way, when you give the perfect
handshake, they’ll be looking right up
your arm and at your name.
3. The fall-back questions
. What’s
worse than a terrible handshake?
Awkward silence. To avoid that, I tuck
three stand-by questions in the back of
my brain. To make these worthwhile,
you need to know your audience. For
instance, while the “what do you do?”
question is usually on my list, if I’m in
a room full of contractors, I tailor it a
bit more – “What type of construction
do you do?” This may seem painfully
obvious. But I’m shy, and if I end up
with someone who has their own deer-in-
headlights look, my mind is not immune
to blanking. So having standby questions
to get to know someone is a great way to
make them feel more comfortable and
interesting, which they will appreciate
and remember.
4. Compliments are not to be used
One of the easiest ways to
strike up a conversation is to tell some-
one they’ve got a great tie or adorable
shoes. It’s always nice to feel like some-
one actually noticed the new earrings
that I’m so excited about. Make sure you
mean the praise, because you don’t want
to come across as fake. When you give
someone a genuine compliment, you not
only open the door to
further conversation,
you also help them
to associate you with
a self-esteem boost.
That’s always a good thing.
5. Fantasy football
. Or bicycle mak-
ing. Or painting. Or horseback riding.
Or… my point is to have a hobby or an
interest. This time of year, fantasy foot-
ball is mine. It always makes me chuckle
how surprised men are that I can discuss
the pros and cons of taking a wide receiv-
er in the first round. People remember
the things that make you different. But
you never know what you might end up
having in common with someone. Even
if you don’t, it’s something to share that
shows how dynamic and interesting you
The list could go on (i.e. don’t forget
your cards!). Many who are much better
at networking than me could share much
more. But don’t shy away from the op-
portunities to make a new connection,
even if you don’t know anyone going in.
I have found those experiences to be the
most rewarding because it forces me out
of my comfort zone. Having a couple
tools up your sleeve definitely helps.
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