“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie.
For our first Lunch-and-Learn as Indium Corporation interns, Francis English of Dale Carnegie stopped by to give us some instruction on networking and conversing with people for the first time. Of all the tips she gave us, she told us that if we remember nothing else, remember to listen, not talk!
First step – a handshake! I grew up with five brothers, and once my dad had taught them how they should be shaking hands, they took it upon themselves to pass that wisdom on to me. As a result, I know first hand how that first handshake can affect a person’s opinion – I judge everyone on it (perhaps too harshly). But the most important thing to do when meeting someone is to always go into a conversation with the goal of getting to know the person you’re talking to, rather than going in with the intent to talk about yourself.
To get started in being a conversational pro, Leslie gave us some pointers – a recipe to follow. But just like any recipe, this can be tweaked to your liking. Some of these steps are straight forward – name, where they’re from, what they do, and family. But I don’t want to spoil it all here, or your networking Lunch-and-Learn will be dull!
I will leave you with a question that Leslie brought up that I thought was fascinating – “how did you make your first dollar?”
Upon conclusion of the Lunch-and-Learn, I had a MarCom meeting. When my supervisor asked what we learned and I explained, she put me on the spot and had me hold a conversation with each person in the room following the rules we’d just learned. It was an incredible way to put into practice the new skills I’d picked up while they were still fresh in my mind. Furthermore, it gave me the opportunity to get to know everyone on the team a little better!
The second Lunch-and-Learn was our volunteer day. All 18 of us interns donned our Indium Greens, our work goggles, and our dust masks and headed down the road to Sleep in Heavenly Peace. There, we spent three hours sanding, drilling, and hammering away, and we ended the day having made 18 beds for children in the community who were in need.
I’ve volunteered before, and all too often that satisfaction is marred with a tinge of guilt when the people running an organization try to guilt and persuade you to do more or give more. This was not at all the case at Sleep in Heavenly Peace – the wonderful family running the Utica branch were all appreciative of what we were doing and quick to give us tasks and make us feel useful.
I think we all left that experience with aching hands, a fine layer of sawdust on our clothes, and a few splinters, but also with a sense of satisfaction knowing that we’d done something so impactful. Not only that, but being only a few weeks into our intern experience, it helped us all find some common ground and get to know each other a little better.
Thank you Sleep in Heavenly Peace for having us, and thank you Indium Corporation for arranging this experience for us.
I think, given the lack of description of food in this blog post, one could tell that the highlight of these Lunch-and-Learns isn’t the lunch part, but rather the experience we are gaining. But, for those interested, the food is great too!