“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston Churchill
"Whom you meet, how you meet them, and what they think of you afterward should not be left to chance.
As Winston Churchill would tell us, preparation is—if not the key to genius—then at least the key to sounding like a genius. Before I meet with any new people I’ve been thinking of introducing myself to, I research who they are and what their business is.
I find out what’s important to them: their hobbies, challenges, goals—inside their business and out. Before the meeting, I generally prepare, or have my assistant prepare, a one-page synopsis on the person I’m about to meet. The only criterion for what should be included is that I want to know what this person is like as a human being, what he or she feels strongly about, and what his or her proudest achievements are.
Sure, you should also be up-to-date on what’s happening within the company of a person you want to establish a relationship with. Did the person have a good or bad quarter? Do they have a new product? Trust me, all people naturally care, generally above and beyond anything else, about what it is they do. If you are informed enough to step comfortably into their world and talk knowledgeably, their appreciation will be tangible.
As William James wrote: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
During mixers, I like to hang out near the bar. Virtually everyone gets a drink at some point. Throughout the day, I had also scouted out which rooms the people I wanted to meet were holding court in for the day, and arranged my schedule so I could be there as they were walking in or out. It sounds a bit manipulative, but really, it’s just putting yourself in the right position at the right time."
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz