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by Darren Held

So you’re brand spanking new to your career and need to expand your professional associations. Or perhaps you’re in sales and would like to generate new leads. Or maybe the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence and you’re ready to give your current employer the old heave-ho.

Well then you darn well know the importance of networking – the art of building mutually beneficial relationships with others. Some call it schmoozing, others call it hobnobbing. Here at Held2gether, we call it brilliant. While technology has made networking easier, by far the strongest networks are built through in-person interactions. And that’s where brushing up on your improv skills can benefit you.

Don’t get us wrong, we love the internet. Facebook, Linkedin, and Myspace have made the world a smaller place. Keeping up with gossip and making quick connections can be as easy as clicking a link. But those are just short sound bites, not meaningful relationships. And they tend to involve entirely too many photos of your friends in drunken, compromising positions.

Good networking means learning the give-and-take that is fundamental to improv. It requires you to actively listen to others and provide appropriate responses. And yes, as painful as it is for all of us to do sometimes, it requires you to put aside your pre-conceived ideas and to organically respond to the relationship as it unfolds. Trust us, networks that are built on the fundamental of give-and-take are stronger and more interesting than networks built on the principle of gimme-gimme-gimme. We learned that one the hard way. Long story.

So put down your mouse, turn off your computer, and join us for a Held2gether class or two. Then watch as your network grows, both in the number of people you know and the quality of the relationships you develop. As we say at H2G, “Yay!”

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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