Finding Common Ground

We’ve all been there; you arrive late at a party, gathering, or even a conference. You look around, and almost everyone has come with a friend, or a group. Even the ones who have come solo, are somehow now in a deep conversation with the person next to them.  How can someone by so charming? Really, how do they do it?!


HR career coaches have a solution for the problem which is probably the bane of your social life. Through an interesting workshop, it has been demonstrated that, no matter how different we seem to be, we all have things in common with each other. The participants in the experiment were divided into small groups, and although some of them were as different as night and day, they still managed to find common grounds. Some of them realised that they all simply didn’t smoke, loved the colour black, and loved learning. Others noticed that they had similar personality traits; from being adventurous or risk-taking, to having perseverance and assertiveness.



Although it took a couple of attempts to find similarities, everyone concluded that in a group of people, there’s always something they do share, no matter how different they seem to be. HR specialists urge that having a network of contacts is vital. Normally, people ‘look’ for a job, but in this case, you could be approached with one. This only works if people know who you are, and what you can do.



To improve networking, you basically need to have a huge list of contacts; how else would you know who to turn to when in need?


You could start by forming a support group; looking for people who are like you, who share your passion, and with whom you can share knowledge. Moreover, this could help you spot a potential partner or get spotted by a sponsor.


Besides your abilities, the type of person you are is important! Body language plays a great role in affecting people, even more than what you say. Be confident, smile! Ask questions; find a common interest between you and the person in front of you. That way you can decide how to base your conversations.


Just keep in mind that when others like you, you’ll always be on their mind, and their first choice.


The most crucial form of networking is online networking. Linkedin is your best friend if you want to find people from all over the world, who share your field.


It is a fact that: The more people you know, the more paths you will have open up for you. And remember that “Practice makes perfect.” To gain experience; to improve any skill, you need to make mistakes and learn from them.






This Post is posted by Ayah Yasser

An IEEE AlexSB Volunteer, Reporting and Publication Committee

  1. Hi there, I love the image at the top of your article. I was wondering if I could get permission to use it for an article I’m writing about finding common ground and building relationships in the tech industry.

    • Hello. This lovely piece actually belongs to an ‘FR’, who we can’t reach, so we simply give him/her credit for the work. 🙂 And I wish you all the best with your article!


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