It was 8 in the morning but the room was, from the beginning, filled with waves of excitement and curiousity.
The space was also exceptional. It came equipped with a ping pong table in the back as well as bright orange high-backed chairs that I termed “modern cones-of-silence.” These comfy chairs became the seats where I sat my two colleague assistants, both great networking experts, who helped make sure the conversation ran smoothly.
There was also a shelf table with barstool chairs in the in the back where at least five people settled in to get a unique vantage point.
Then the remainder of the 45 people attending were in cream-colored chairs facing the two author-thought leaders in the front.
But all the above was just the physical setup. What really pleased the attendees were the deep conversations they got to participate in with Billy Dexter, author-executive and head of diversity at Heidrick and Mark Schaefer, extraordinary best-selling author of six books, talking mainly about his latest book, “Known.”
We began with each author’s “Why” (ala Simon Sinek) of writing his book. We then transitioned to questions from the audience that really got the author’s digging deep into their guts and hearts for real, transparent answers. There was even someone in the audience who stated that their company leaders didn’t like others using the word “passionate” for things that mattered to them. They thought the term was used to perhaps just push an individual’s agenda and therefore really didn’t have a place in the business world.
Big Talk Versus Small Talk
I pushed on through that comment, sharing a bit of my experiences having worked with thousands over the past 20 years, teaching them networking. I focused on what I have seen works to build sustainable relationships and networks. The most important discovery was that most people talk “off the cuff” and consistently stay at the surface of what could be a much deeper, significant conversation. Additionally, people become more reactionary rather than proactive when connecting. As a result they end up not creating significant enough connections that could turn into strong opportunities.
The Salon Continues
So, because the salon worked, I’m going to host another on Tuesday, February 6th. It will be held again in Chicago at 203 N LaSalle from 8:00-10:00 am.
It will showcase upcoming author-speaker Joseph Bradley, Chief Digital Officer at Cisco. The topic will be Joseph’s new book (to be released in Spring 2018): “Questioneering”
If you are interested, sign up early once I open registration. I limit the seating to 70 to create as much rich conversation and connection as possible. Additionally, I will be there with my team to make introductions for anyone interested. My email list will be the first to know when registration is open, so if you’re not already on it be sure you sign up at the bottom of this page.
I look forward to you joining us!