Ever been out at a restaurant and need to use the restroom?

There is that moment of confusion when the location of the restroom is unclear, especially if you’ve been at your table for a while, and now have to first re-orient yourself, locate the restroom on your own, or ask someone that works there.

Of course, when you’re heading toward the restroom, you’re almost never alone. Often, there’s another patron that is also in need of the restroom.

You both walk towards the door (could be women’s room, men’s room, coed, doesn’t matter), one of you gets there first, opens the door, and holds the door open for the other as you both walk into the restroom.

Automatic light switches on. The door closes behind both of you and you’re both standing there.

One sink. One toilet.

Now you’re standing there looking at each other. Awkward. And someone needs to make a decision. 😉

Yes, you can laugh. It’s very funny.

Awkward moments happen. While dining at restaurants, shopping in stores, interacting with children, and of course when meeting people at business networking events, mixers, cocktail parties, and conferences.

Here are some of my favorite awkward business networking moments and what to do about them!

Introducing Yourself to a “Stranger”
Start with your name and a “nice to meet you!” Ask questions about them!

Introducing Others to the Conversation
I’m sorry to interrupt, does everyone know Tom?”

Introducing Others and Gracefully Walking Away
After introducing others, excuse yourself and offer to speak to them later.

Forgetting Someone’s Name
Just ask! “I’m sorry; I forgot your name.” Be apologetic and self-effacing.

Asking for a Business Card, Code, or Whatever
Offer to exchange contact info and explain why it would benefit both of you.

Writing on Someone’s Business Card
Always ask permission to write on someone’s business card or take notes.

Ending a Conversation
Depends on WHY. Has it run its course? Do you need to move on? Do they need to move on? Is there a next step or not? “Nice to meet you. If I can be a resource here, just let me know. Good luck.” Or “Would you be open to exchanging contact info? We can continue our conversation about…” Or “Would you like to meet Tom?” Only if you think there’s a benefit to both of them.

Doing Something Embarrassing or Stupid
An apology will handle most mistakes. Just take responsibility and learn.

Just Not Clicking
We don’t click with everyone. Keep the conversation short, sweet, move on.

Awkward moments happen. Just laugh, right a wrong if need be, learn, and be better the next time. That’s pretty much how all of life works.

Awkward, I know.


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