Chances are, you already know the importance of business networking. Perhaps you’ve leveraged connections before; to find a new career, explore potential clients or meet other like-minded professionals. However, despite endless possibilities, why do so many people still dread networking?

These questions and more will be answered in my new column, Naked Networking® with Kari Mirabal.  I’ve spent the last 20+ years helping people “network smarter” to develop mutually beneficial relationships, and I want to help you too.  Each week, we’ll answer questions related to networking to help you improve your outcomes.


I fear rejection and therefore avoid networking.  How do I work through this block?


Walking into a room of strangers can be intimidating.  Adrenaline activates and attempts to sabotage you.  In these moments, you must simply be courageous.  Breathe. Count to ten, and remind yourself most people you’re about to meet have the same fear (including experienced networkers like me once).  Transform weakness into strength by sharing how you feel when introducing yourself to others.  Keep the tone light by admitting you are a bit nervous and new to networking.  Demonstrating vulnerability gives others permission to do the same which often leads to authentic interactions thereafter.  Approach networking with a spirit of giving, and inquire how you can be of assistance to new contacts first.  This simple act can foster a positive foundation and invite continued engagement.     

Have a networking question? Send us your inquiry to


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