There is a saying among sales people, “ABC. Always Be Closing.” The goal is sales is to make a deal. Everything from cultivating leads to negotiating is always about “closing” the deal. In the study of people skills, the motto is: ABO. Always Be Opening.
Our goal is to cultivate a large network of friends, acquaintances, co-workers, colleagues, employers, potential co-workers and employers — in short, everyone you can meet. The more people in your “people” file, the more nodes you will have when you want to find a job, acquire funding for new business, meet other interested people, do research, get advice. Nearly every endeavor involves the network. And you never know when you might want to use a particular arrow from your quiver.
Most geeks need to either create or expand their network and that involves meeting new people. Most social anxiety involves meeting new people but it’s also where the gold is, where much of the promise of mastering interpersonal skills lies.