What a crowded flight taught me about networking

Independent if you’re traveling busines man / woman or localist – networking is one of the most important skills you should establish. You can do this frequently, at many locations, with many different kind of people – and without spending any money!

BY THE WAY: I AM WRITING THIS HAVING TURBOLENCES ON MY FLIGHT RIGHT NOW! HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO PUSH ANY KEY ON YOUR KEYBOARD HAVING TURBOLENCES???

OK. Back to topic. Where have I been? Ah, OK. My flight and networking. See this: For me one of the most interesting parts of traveling around the world is to meet people. To talk with them about whatever, to learn more about their culture – and to enlargen my network of interesting people around the world.

So what can an overcrowded flight to Dubai teach you about networking? Well, it is how easy it is to get in contact with other people! How many people have a chat in the morning when they have to go to work? Do they smile? From my experience most people do not even look others in their eyes.

So now do an experiment. Try to chat with them! OK. Better not. You could get hurt.

But having a flight seems to be different. It is not that people are so very relaxed. In most cases they are not. They are really stressed by moving their approx. 2 tons of luggage around the gates. They are stressed standing in line. They are stressed because the checkin is too slow.

But you can get very quick a chat with them if you like! The reason for this is very simple: all these people have a similarirty which is just right now being stressed during their travel. And they are in some state which is different from being tired and sitting in the morning train.

So what can you learn from this for your business day? Do NOT talk about business! This is not what people (mostly) are interested in. Start with being off-topic. It can be everything: the weather, the coffe served at Starbucks, your broken car. But never ever try to chat with people off-topic while a non-fitting situation.

At the end I have to say: please forgive me any typos in this article. It is really hard to find the key during turbolences. Not like the guy next to me: his coffee is empty now – and his wet trousers open a new fantastic topic for networking!