Route 66 To Face-To-Face Success

Doing the right thing at the right time is not that complicated. In order to simplify practical actions, deeds and behaviors that can be easily implemented, I compiled this list as a chapter for my book, Face To Face: How To Reclaim The Personal Touch in a Digital World.

Route 66 To Success also pays homage to the famous highway that begins near the Art Insitute of Chicago and ends at the famed Santa Monica Pier. It’s based on the traits, actions and behaviors of the people who are, in a word, savvy.

Some of these action items reflect traits or philosophies while others are goals we should set for how we want to be perceived. Use the Route 66 traits to form the schematic to chart your personal progress.

Savvy is the know how of those whose demeanor and behavior reflect a knowledge of protocol, etiquette and connected communication.

SAVVY Networkers:

1) Acknowledge — gifts, leads, information, ideas, support (send handwritten notes).

2) Stay in touch when seeking nothing!

3) Are aware of who is in their personal and professional network.

4) Know who they like, respect and trust. (And whom they don’t).

5) Keep people in the loop about leads, projects, contracts, introductions.

6) Don’t use e-mail, posts, tweets or instagram to fire or breakup or deliver other unpleasant messages.

7) Don’t leave people dangling.

8) Don’t confuse conversations with grilling (avoid “questionable” behavior).

9) Have good manners, know basic etiquette and internet-iquette of each online “room”.

10) Treat people kindly.

11) Respect others.

12) Take responsibility: “My error, how can I remedy this?”

13) Apologize when in error. “I’m so very sorry I didn’t get you the financial data yesterday.”

14) Match/recommend people with jobs, clients, resources, and refer with enthusiasm.

15) Don’t suffer from “attachment disorder” (sending unnecessary e-mail attachments).

16) Volunteer in the community.

17) Respect privacy and property.

18) Work hard and smart and do a great job.

19) Take time to smell the roses.

20) Have a good sense of timing because they pay attention.

21) Are connected — not tethered —to technology.

22) Respect others when using smarts phones whether to call, text or tweet (that means never in theaters, meetings, restaurants, parties, houses of worship, etc.).

23) Pay attention to people when they’re talking.

24) Embrace diversity of age, race, religion, geographic origin, expertise, and cultures.

25) Stay visible, especially in professional organizations and in both online and off-line communities.

26) Honor peoples’ time.

27) Nurture personal and professional networks.

28) Refrain from F.F. — Foolish Forwarding — of e-mails, facebook quizzes et al.

29) Are of good humor.

30) Know how to “work” rooms.

31) Pick up the phone and CALL people to connect. (If Pope Francis has the time to call his friends, so can we).

32) Remember roots.

33) Praise and support others.

34) Ask for help.

35) Offer assistance.

36) Don’t make snap judgements.

37) Are guided by goals, not blinded by them.

38) Don’t offer unsolicited opinions. (Corollary: There is no such thing as “constructive criticism.”)

39) Give credit where credit is due (for ideas, projects, signature stories, research, funny comments).

40) Develop and Display solid values and ethics.

41) Offer and collect business cards with grace. (Even in this tech-obsessed world they have cards because they know it may be important for someone in their target market to get one).

42) Understand that networking is beyond the exchange of business cards.

43) Pass on third party praise to the proper recipient.(Thanks to Dr. Duffy Spencer for this tip).

44) Give compliments.

45) Accept compliments graciously.

46) Avoid gossip and rumors.

47) Are life-long learners.

48) “Make nice” in the rooms they work.

49) Listen, listen, listen!

50) Are generous of spirit.

51) Do what they say they’ll do — when they say they’ll do it!

52) Know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. Leave graciously.

53) Avoid exaggeration, embellishment.

54) Know the difference between sympathy and empathy.

55) Hang around with the people who inspire them.

56) Give people a second chance. The savvy people know that some who make a great 1st impression can’t sustain it.

57) Don’t use humor as guise for put-downs.

58) Treat people as people, not as prospects.

59) Make people feel comfortable.

60) Control temper — use only “I” messages when giving feedback.

61) Are easy to be around. No diva-like demands or an ounce of arrogance.

62) Do good deeds.

63) Are open to serendipity and don’t attend gatherings with an detailed agenda.

64) Mentor the next generation (or the prior one).

65) Is a good friend who takes the time to nurture relationship.

Above all, savvy networkers go everywhere to have fun!


Good networkers make room for new contacts and deftly clean out their networks. As we grow and change, our networks do as well. The person we may have hung out with in our bowling, football, book club or single days, may not be our hanging out friend when we attend film festivals, The X Games, Little League games or the opera. The person whose biting comments and temper tantrums may have amused us when we were 22, embarrasses us ten or twenty years later.

Standard Bearers

We can and should have standards of acceptable behavior for ourselves and others. If unsure, please use this chapter as a guideline. If there are traits to add to the list, feel free to do so and e-mail me.

Follow me @SusanRoAne

About Susan RoAne

Susan RoAne leads a double life as a sought-after professional keynote speaker and a bestselling author. Known as The Mingling Maven®, she gives diverse audiences the required tools, techniques and strategies they need to connect and communicate in today’s global business world. The San Francisco Chronicle says she has a “dynamite sense of humor.” To hire Susan to speak for your company, association or college, 1.415.461.3915