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Blank Business CardIt’s such a simple, reflexive action; yet simple doesn’t always equate with easy … or instinctive.

It is also vital and the proper protocol to pause and read someone’s card as you get it. The silence while you are reading each other’s cards is an accepted part of the communication process. It shows respect for and interest in the other person. You can also use the time to:

    Look at the person’s name since many people have trouble remembering someone’s most personal possession.
    Check the person’s title.
    Review the name and location of the business.
    Learn more about the nature of the business or the person’s skills if in transition.

Taking the time to read cards, not just glance at, helps you start relevant conversations. It also shows your interest and desire to learn more.

The interaction gets started on a wrong note when you take someone’s card, stick it in your pocket or purse and then ask,

    • “What do you do?”
    • “For whom do you work?”
    • “Where is your business located?”

In a few seconds you share a lot about your listening skills, attention span, interest in others and your networking expertise.

What messages are you sending?


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