I attended a "gala" event at the Asian American Action Fund where I had an opportunity to meet some Asian American leaders in Washington, DC. I met Congressman Mike Honda and Boston City Councilman, Sam Yoon, as well as other political figures.
I've not been one to be a "schmoozer." Someone asked me, "Well, Naomi, what's the difference between a networking vs. schmoozing?" I have found that networking which to me is a simple exchange of pleasantries about what you are and what you do is fairly easy. In fact, one of my friends always invites me to his parties because he says I can talk with anyone (if I am so inclined.)
With schmoozing, I've found that it's much more of an agenda driven conversation. In other words, the conversations are more about "Here's what I can do for you?" and "What can you do for me?" The other thing that bothers me about schmoozing is that the venues where this takes place is usually at a mixer event where there is loud music blaring and you need to shout at each other to even have a conversation. There were times where I needed to go outside and unwind not because I disliked the company, but because it was so stressful trying to manage the conversations with the loud environment.
In a nutshell, if there is a better way to "schmooze" without the loud music and background situation, I would enjoy it more. I think I need to pick up golf again, and dust off those golf clubs. I've found that similar conversations happen on the golf course, and yet you're in a much nicer environment.
What are your thoughts about the difference between networking vs. schmoozing?
Can you think of other activities besides gala events and golf that would help with networking and schmoozing?