At networking events, Jodie often sees people checking their BlackBerry or even taking a cell phone call. "Is this appropriate?" she asks.
The purpose of a networking event is to have significant conversations and use the power of face-to-face encounters to create a good impression for ourselves and our organization.
When we check a BlackBerry or take a call in someone's presence, we send a clear message that the human interaction in front of us is less important.
Before networking, turn off your phone. Don't wear your Bluetooth earpiece. If you do, you will communicate that something else is more important to you than the people at the event.
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