Sign in

A publication from Medium on personal development.


In Forge. More on Medium.

One rule for doing it without feeling like a jerk

Sure, why not

The wildest thing happened this past weekend.

Wait for it…


As in, I attended some. Plural.

It was my first real weekend of Hot Vax Summer, and my first proper going-out in 18 months. And somewhere amid all that rusty social interaction, I realized something. Well, two things. One: I know a lot of Geminis. Second, and the reason we’re all here: that the only kind of ‘networking’ I ever want to do is going to parties where I can be my damn self and enjoy the people around me. I know, what a concept.

I cannot tell you…

👋 Tip: When introducing someone, say their name first and their relationship to you second.

Here’s a simple, but meaningful etiquette tip, courtesy of Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo: Say the person’s name first and their relationship to you second.

Nope: This is my neighbor, Kenny.

YES: This is Kenny, my neighbor.

As Goddard writes, it’s a way to spotlight the person and not their connection to you. The small tweak makes a big difference.

🍽️ More from Forge on modern etiquette:

A Quick Refresher on Basic Phone Etiquette

The Rules for Having Lunch Over Zoom

A Yale professor’s personality test shows your networking style

Photo: 10'000 Hours/Getty Images

In work and in life, relationships are everything. Most of us know this intuitively. What most people don’t know, however, is that each of us is sitting on a simple, straightforward way to strengthen all our relationships in ways that are beneficial not only to us, but also to the people with whom we’re connected, and to the people they’re connected to, as well. All it takes is a little self-knowledge.

As a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, my research on social dynamics has led me to identify three main types of networkers: the expansionist…

Networking from home has become a seriously valuable skill

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

About a month into the pandemic, I received a flurry of emails that boiled down to this: Half of my work contracts were being cut. At first, I was frantic. But quickly, I was able to replace the lost contracts with new ones. How? I owe it all to a practice I’ve been doing for the last three years.

Every week, no matter what I have going on, I reach out to one new person who is doing something I think is cool and request a chance to talk to them on the phone. I know this might sound terrifying…

🙏 Today’s tip: The most powerful networking tool is a thank-you note.

Two short words that have the power to transform human relationships: “Thank you.”

A message of thanks to someone you’ve lost touch with — a former manager, an old coworker — has benefits for you both. As Laura Vanderkam points out in a recent column, “One study found that people underestimate how happy recipients will be when they receive thank-you letters.” …

Three networking strategies that are more important than ever

Colorful illustration of people harvesting from orchard yards.
Colorful illustration of people harvesting from orchard yards.
Illustration: Jackson Joyce

A few months into this unexpected workplace experiment, it turns out: We’re kind of into it.

One June survey of people forced to work from home by Covid-19 found that 82% wanted to continue doing so at least two days per week, and 35% wanted to continue full time.

The problem is: We like being around each other, too. And, professionally, we need it. Many of our best new opportunities come from encounters with other people. When you sit somewhere new in the office cafeteria you could learn about an opening in another department. …

It’s a more thoughtful way to make new connections

Photo: fizkes/Getty Images

Let’s say you’re looking for a new opportunity. You’ve already scoured the online listings and put out feelers in your own professional network, and now you’re ready to take things a step further. You start asking around your social circle: “Do you happen to know anyone in my industry that you could connect me with?”

A friend might scroll through their contacts for you, but it’s likely you both know a lot of the same people already. …

I’ve sent more than 200 cold emails throughout my career — and have gotten only three rejections

Photo: Stefania D’Alessandro/Contributor/Getty Images

I’ve never found a “hack” for success more effective than this one, a piece of advice I used to hear all the time from my dad: The best way to get what you want is by getting to know the people who already have it.

It’s advice I’ve relied on throughout my career. Over the years, I’ve reached out to well over 200 people doing things I thought were cool, requesting a chance to speak with them. Only three people have declined my invitation to talk. (Well, technically four — Oprah never got back to me.) …

How my act of clumsiness broke the unspoken etiquette that comes with corporate hobnobbing

Credit: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Some people are great at networking. You know the type: those supernatural creatures who don’t spend a third of every event pretending to need to use the restroom. Just happy little cherubs capable of snacking on cucumber canapés and sipping glasses of pinot for an unbearable amount of time, like half an hour. They have expressions that say “I’m engaged in this conversation and not wondering whether I have a chia seed stuck in my teeth.” Real honor students in gracefulness.

I am not one of those people.

At least, I wasn’t. My radar for rubbish talk has always been…


A publication from Medium on personal development.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store