Welcome back to On the Schmooze. Thank you so much for joining me. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Mary Pilon, this week you’ll be hearing from me, your host.

Every other week I’ll be offering my take on some aspect of networking and relationship-building. These shorter podcast episodes will include practical networking tips and techniques you can put into practice right away. My hope is those insights from me, and my guests will help you achieve the leadership position you’re seeking, build and sustain your professional network, and find the work/life balance that works best for you.

This week, I'll be sharing tips to help you more effectively and inclusively network with people with disabilities. This is an excerpt from my soon to be released book “Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences.”

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Creating a welcoming event is a multi-faceted endeavor and I would be remiss if I did not offer some guidance on how to communicate with a person with a disability. Unfortunately, the angst people have about networking gets amplified when given the opportunity to connect with those with disabilities. This may be true even if you have a disability yourself.

Some people choose to avoid engaging rather than do or say something wrong. Others make an awkward, hesitant effort, which is sometimes perceived as inconsiderate, and rather than making someone feel included may have the exact opposite effect.

The bottom line is to be respectful. Aside from that basic tenet, there are some things to keep in mind when communicating with someone who is differently-abled than you. Listen to the rest of this episode…

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Do you host a conference or convention and want your attendees to feel that your event was incredibly valuable because of all the connections they made?

I work with associations and companies to design events that increase engagement and create a welcoming culture for all attendees, especially your first-time attendees. The result is that long-time attendees, presenters, and board members have a host mentality and all attendees have the tools to strategically build relationships and their professional network at your event. If you want to increase ROI for your attendees and therefore their retention, email me to schedule a call.

Is networking an important, but your least favorite, part of your job?

My coaching clients felt the same way. Through a combination of technical tips, accountability, and a bit of inspiration, I help leaders stop wasting time networking and start building great relationships. If that is what you’re looking for I would love to chat, email me to schedule a call.

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