Monthly Archives: October 2012

What are good neutral “small talk” subjects to discuss on a networking lunch with people you have never met before? (especially men)



First, Sports is always a good choice (because that’s what two men would do) but only if you know what you are talking about. I would highly recommend staying away from politics and religion. I know realize some people may be thinking “duh… that’s common sense Shelley” and we all know this goes without saying but these days, it’s so incredibly easy to get sucked into those conversations with the elections and the issues at the forefront. (Just check your facebook newsfeed)  Neutrality on this subject is super important because so many people are on one side of the fence or the other and we can possibly be  judged for our personal political opinion even if it has absolutely nothing to do with our ability to serve someone in our businesses.
Therefore, my best answer to this question would be to simply ask them about themselves.  Ask them about their businesses, what they do, how they got started, what they are excited about, what their goals are, etc…  People are typically in business for themselves and are at networking events because they are passionate about what they do.  They WANT to talk about it.  They WANT to share it with others.  You can also ask about their interests, their hobbies and so on to see if you can find some common ground. You only need one piece of common ground to form a connection, whatever it may be. The more you learn about them, the more interesting they will think you are. Then when you follow up with them 24-48 hours later, you can add a personal note about something specific they discussed with you which will add to the rapport you are building with them.
As a side note, if you are networking with two or more people and one is a woman, you have to give more attention to the woman or psychologically, you may be at risk of her not thinking you are taking her as seriously as the man. As many of us know, women have worked very hard to get to the positions they are in and if they are partners in a company, they want to feel just as important. 
In summary, when networking with others you are just meeting for the first time, keep your subjects current and up-to-date but keep your opinions neutral.  Always ask about them and find out what they are passionate about.  They have been listening to everyone else and really want someone to listen to them.  Always follow up, thank them for their time and add a personal note to include something you learned about them and finally, when dealing with women in a mixed group, ensure you give her enough attention and respect for her position and contributions.  HAPPY NETWORKING! 
If you have any questions you’d like to ask and would like me to share answers on my blog, please contact me at or on our facebook page at
If you’d like to find out how we can help you get UNSTRESSED and OUT of OVERWHELM so you can clarify your personal and business goals, develop a laser-focus on growing your professional and personal relationships and to create a better BALANCE between your business and personal lifes in order to reach your DREAMS and GOALS, contact me in order to set up a complimentary strategy session at the link below

by – Shelley Mitchell, CPM, CAPS, CAM, HCCP, MORS, COS

(*Author of the forthcoming book series “How To Get & keep What You Really, Really Want – Using SMART Goals to get UNSTRESSED and OUT of OVERWHELM”) 


FACT!  Only 22% of high school students with ADHD/ADD go on to college

FACT!  As little as 5% of college students with ADHD/ADD actually graduate from college

FACT!  I want to CHANGE these facts and need your help!

Not only am I a Business Coach who has a specialty working with Entrepreneurs and people with ADHD, I’m also a parent of a high school student with ADD.  While I’m not taking on individual students as clients, I do have open spots in my practice for Parents who want to either improve their own knowledge and skills or need a coach to work with both parents and students together

FACT!  Statistics are MEANT to be CHALLENGED and CHANGED! 

I also have ADHD/ADD and wasn’t diagnosed until I was 39 years old.  While it was a struggle to get into college, and I went to few, and while it took me a little longer (well, a lot) than most fortunate students who go for 4 years, I did graduate from college with several degrees, one being a Double Major (BBA) in  Management AND Finance and went on to work on my MBA.  To my surprise and disbelief, on my graduation day, I was told I had the highest GPA in my class and graduated Cum Laude.  Since then, I’ve gone on to become a leader in my field and have run companies with as many as 125 employees. 

When there is a WILL, there is a WAY!  When there is a FOCUS, there is an ACCOMPLISHMENT!

Many people say, “I wish I knew then what I know now”.  My goal and mission is to help people get through the struggles I also had to personally overcome and not only be “okay” in life and business but to be SUCCESSFUL in ALL they set out to do.

FACT!  A Goal Without A Plan Is Just a Dream!

If you’d like to know how a Coach can help with the 7 Challenge areas of ADHD for students, parents and entrepreneurs, which are:

  • Prioritizing
  • Scheduling,
  • Goal Setting,
  • Building Confidence,
  • Organizing,
  • Focusing, and
  • Persistence

You can go to the website at and click “Schedule an Appointment”.  The first consultation is at no cost to you. 

**We also have 3 SCHOLARSHIPS available where the fees are “needs-based” and scholarships are issued depending on the income or special situation a client may be in.  There are only 3 of these spots currently open and will go quickly.  You can also send us a private message on Facebook.


Shelley Mitchell, CPM, CAPS, CAM, HCCP, MORS, COS

(*Author of the forthcoming book series “How To Get & keep What You Really, Really Want – Using SMART Goals to get UNSTRESSED and OUT of OVERWHELM”) 


Phone:  860-559-6291