Best networking practices in Auckland

networking etiquette
Updated 2023-02-11 18:39

As mentioned in our article about developing a professional network in Auckland, the city has a pretty small population. This means it is important to think about how you are interacting with people in a professional setting in order to make the best impression. Although Auckland is a fairly casual place, there are some things to note if you want to avoid making mistakes.

Do's in Auckland

Shake hands

Regardless of the gender of the person you are meeting, shaking hands is the standard professional greeting in Auckland. A firm grip, good eye contact and a smile will provide a great first impression.

Be friendly

If you are too serious in your interactions, it might turn people off to the idea of developing a professional relationship. Be warm and generous, and don't speak badly of others behind their back.

Drink if you want to

If there is alcohol provided, feel free to have a drink or two. Aucklanders love their beer and wine. Of course, if you aren't a drinker, don't feel pressured, as no one will look down on you either way. Just be moderate, and don't get too sloppy in a professional environment.

Hand out business cards

If you have business cards, feel free to hand them out to people. Although they aren't as common as they once were, people still like the ease of having your information easily available to them.

Add people on LinkedIn

After you have met someone in a professional environment, it's perfectly acceptable to add them on LinkedIn. Add a message saying where you met them, so it's not out of the blue.

Be polite to everyone

Class distinctions are not very strong in Auckland and so treating serving staff poorly will reflect very badly on you. Say please and thank you, and treat each person with the respect you would expect.

Dress professionally

Business casual is the go-to for most industry events. However, be aware that some people with tattoos and piercings in a t-shirt and jeans may well be the most senior person in the room.

Don'ts in Auckland

Be overly familiar

Don't go straight for a hug with people in a professional meetup. You can ask about family and hobbies to get to know people, but don't start inviting people over to dinner unless you've got to know them fairly well.

Add people on Facebook

There is a distinction in Auckland that Facebook is primarily for friends and family. So save the friend request for when you feel like you have become good friends with someone.

Judge people on appearance

As mentioned above, you never know if someone who looks different from what you would expect is actually an industry bigwig. It is always better to play it safe than to embarrass yourself in front of someone important.

Talk about politics

It is not considered polite to disparage Kiwi political figures, as you never know what values people may have. Play it safe and stick to less controversial topics.

Speak negatively about others

As mentioned previously, Auckland has a pretty small population. You can't guess who knows who, so you better stick to the golden rule: if you have nothing nice to say, just smile and nod politely.

Reciprocity in Auckland

In general, networking is about reciprocity. As with networking in any country, remember that forging productive professional relationships involves considering what you might be able to do for other people, not just how they can assist you. A network is, by definition, an interconnected form rather than a one-way street. So, in Auckland, as in any professional setting, remind yourself of how you can behave, which reinforces this idea of reciprocity.

If you attend a networking event in Auckland, adhering to some of the following tenets might help you forge enduring professional relationships:

  • Be prepared: Research the event or organization you will be attending, and come with some level of knowledge about who will be there.
  • Be respectful: Show up on time and be respectful of other people's time and space.
  • Listen more than you talk: Ask questions and genuinely listen to others to build rapport and learn more about their needs and interests.
  • Follow up: After the event, follow up with any contacts you made, and maintain those relationships over time.
  • Show gratitude and be helpful: Show appreciation for the time and advice of others, and be willing to help others if you can.
  • Don't be too pushy: Don't be too aggressive when trying to sell your product or service, as it may be seen as pushy or disrespectful. Instead, focus on building relationships and finding ways to help others.
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