Whether you love it or dread it, networking can mean the difference between connecting with a potential new client, or… not. There are certain things we can do to engage with others successfully at networking events – such as offering a firm handshake (NOT a dead fish!), making eye contact, and listening more than we talk. But perhaps even more important is our energy and how we show up – before we even say a word.

These days it’s all about “doing”, and many of us neglect to check in with our bodies on a regular basis. Horses, by contrast, are constantly tuned in to their bodies. They are one thousand pounds of pure, 100% undiluted, non-verbal perception. Humans? We rely largely on verbal communication, which comprises a measly 10% of human communication. How can we tap into our bodies to engage better with other humans?

Enter the body scan.

A body scan is like a private check-in meeting with yourself before you engage with others. Horses do this instinctively – humans, not so much. It’s important because it helps you understand what’s happening in your own body before you step into the energies of other bodies – so you’ll know what’s yours and what’s not.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Find a quiet place away from others (e.g. car, a restroom) and stand or sit in a comfortable position. Starting at the top of your head and moving down to your toes, scan through your body noticing the sensations you feel in different body parts. Without changing anything, just notice the sensation and move on.
  • Once you’ve scanned your entire body, pick one sensation that is prominent or interesting and silently ask the sensation if it has a message for you. The body often speaks to us like an artist or poet – in images or songs or colors – whereas the brain speaks to us more like a scientist. Let the body speak, not the brain.
  • Sink deeply into the sensation and listen to your body’s message. Often the sensation will dissolve or change in some way when it is acknowledged.  Once you receive the message, thank your body for communicating with you and open your eyes.

When you walk into the event, you’ll be more aware of your own presence, which then enables you to be more present with others.