And while successful schmoozing is all about being open and genuine, about connecting with people, there are plenty of lines you shouldn't cross. Just follow these 10 Tips to Becoming a Great Schmoozer and you won't go astray:
Don't BS. Let's get one thing straight. BSing destroys credibility. If you want to become a successful executive or leader, don't BS. Period. It doesn't matter how smart others think you are, just how smart you really are.
It's never about you; it's always about them. Connecting with people means finding things you have in common, or even different views on a subject you both feel strongly about. You already know you, what you don't know is them.
People like to be schmoozed. I know some will disagree, but they're wrong. People like attention, to be noticed, to connect and engage. That is, as long as you're straightforward about it.
Be open and genuine. Be you. The most effective way to connect with people and find common ground is to be yourself, with all your native charm, faults, and idiosyncrasies. There's nothing more attractive than genuine humanity - humility, humor, being yourself.
Don't overdo it. Next to BSing and trying to be someone you're not, trying too hard is the biggest schmoozing pitfall. Pushing too hard will backfire.
Everyone is schmoozable. CEOs, VCs, tough administrative assistants, everyone is schmoozable, for the simple reason that everyone likes the attention -- under the right conditions.
Always be appropriate. Never overstep your bounds or make others feel uncomfortable. Never invade someone's personal space. Not sure what the boundaries are? It's different for everyone, so pay attention; they'll let you know.
Always be respectful of people's time. Now more than ever, our time is our most precious resource. Enough said.
Don't talk at people. Nobody likes to be talked at. They like to be engaged. They like to be listened to. There's a big difference. Just remember: give a little, get a little.