Super Simple Networking Tip #3 of 3: What to Do When Your Personal Space is Being Invaded?

Super Simple Networking Tips - Part 3

In my last two blog posts, I shared with you two super simple networking tips that you can use to connect better and impress at your networking events.

Click here to watch Part 1 of this video.

Click here to watch Part 2 of this video.

In today’s video and blog post, I want to share with you my third super simple networking tip. This tip is important for those who regularly do business internationally, or interact with people from different cultures.

Super Simple Networking Tip #3: Watch Your Personal Space

This is particularly important if you do business internationally because personal space can differ greatly between cultures.

Let me present you with a situation: You’re talking with somebody at a networking event. That person is standing too close so you naturally move back. They move forward, you move back. They move forward, and you move back again. You spend the whole conversation dancing around the room.

Has this every happened to you? If so, it’s probably because the other person is intruding on your personal space.

Each one of us has an invisible area that circles us that we like to keep for ourselves called our personal space. Some cultures require a larger amount of personal space to feel comfortable, others require only a small amount. People from the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand require a large amount of personal space: usually an arm’s length. Many Asian cultures require a smaller amount of personal space in conversations.

How to Deal With Personal Space Issues at Networking Events.
If you’re in a conversation with somebody at a networking event and they start to edge away from you, don’t step toward them to close the gap. That person obviously feels you’re invading their personal space. Let him or her stand where they feel comfortable otherwise you risk leaving a negative impression.

On the other hand, if you’re the one edging away because you feel somebody is standing too close to you, I urge you to hold your position. Remember the other person is only moving closer to you because they feel you’re too far away. That person must have a much smaller amount of personal space in which they feel comfortable and they want to stand closer to you to form a connection.

I hope you found these tips insightful and useful. If you did, then please share this blog post with your friends.

Now I’d love to hear from you: Which tip, out of my three previous blog posts, did you like best? Please leave your comment in the section below.

About Kara

Kara Ronin is an international business etiquette expert and founder of Executive Impressions. Kara’s advice and unique perspectives have been featured in Time Inc., Business Insider India, Ignites Europe (a Financial Times Service), The Daily Muse, Women 2.0, and more. Kara offers corporate seminars and online training programs on business etiquette, leadership skills, and executive communication around the world. Get Kara's insights delivered straight to your inbox