San Francisco's networking etiquette

network etiquette in San Francisco
Updated 2019-05-24 14:37

Moving into a new city can be overwhelming, especially if you do not have prior experience of ever getting out of your comfort zone. One of the basic tasks that every expat tries to achieve is to build a reliable social network in their new city. Unfortunately, many expats go about this the wrong way, and instead of building a network, they make themselves into a social defunct. There are ways to build a social network in San Francisco, so here are some tips to help you find your way. These ways are referred to as network etiquette.

To make the best out of your first impression with a stranger in the city of San Francisco, you need to follow some cultural rules and norms. Some of them are:

The dress code

For effective networking in San Francisco, you should be properly dressed even though that might seem like a detail to you. When you give priority to your dressing style, you tend to make a lasting impression in the minds of people around you. Very often, people's first impression of you is determined by how you are dressed, it is best you dress nicely. One pitfall that you should try to avoid is dressing too expensively and too casually. This might sell you off as being either too extravagant or too messy. Whether for business, professional, or casual meetings, determine the method of networking and dress to match.

Make a mental note of politely spelling out your name

One hard truth is that people tend to forget the names of people they meet after the initial introduction. However, this possibility can be reduced by half if you introduce yourself to a network in a clear and concise manner. Since you are not from San Francisco, chances are that the native of the city might not be familiar with your name. To avoid complexity, state your name clearly, slowly, and in a loud but clear tone, without necessarily spelling it out.

Maintain focus and attention

One bad habit is to be preoccupied with other things when being introduced and when introducing yourself. A distracted personality puts people off and leaves them counting down until they will be free from your company. To avoid this;
'¢ Do not be engrossed with your phone during a conversation.
'¢ Make a mental note to stand during an introduction as it projects you as respectful.
'¢ Maintain eye contact during the introduction and the conversation.
'¢ Listen more, speak less
'¢ Request for permission before addressing your network on the first name basis.

Be friendly and cordial

People are naturally drawn to individuals who radiate positive vibes and make them feel at home. As an expat in San Francisco, you will meet new people practically every day. Whenever you walk past an individual you come across regularly, smile and say hello until it becomes a habit. The progression is usually that after a while of constant smile and greeting, the person reciprocates and it progresses into a deeper conversation. As it is, the locals are very friendly and openminded and like indulging in meaningful conversations.

Take the backseat in a group conversation

This doesn't mean that you will be redundant, but that you know when to speak and when not to. When you are in a group of new acquaintances, avoid being seen as overbearing or talkative or intruding into conversations. If you do this, people tend to get bored with your presence and get wary of another meeting with you. Make it all about them and less of you.

Also, watch your language whenever you take your swipe at building a network. Make every conversation interesting and to the point. While networking in San Francisco, following up is essential, so try giving a phone call after a couple of days.

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