By now you’ve probably heard of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). FOMO has existed for almost a decade but rose to prominence around two years ago when everyone started to become anxious about their friends on social media having much more fun than them at any given moment.
This fear may also afflict new members because it’s common to feel anxious when you first join BNI and start standing up to present.
How can you get over these FOMO feelings? We’ve taken 4 tips from an article on The Muse – Feeling Left Out? How to Handle FOMO in the Office and related them to BNI:
- Be honest: Face up to your feelings of nervousness and understand that pretty much everyone who joins BNI feels like this at one time or another. Be supportive of new members (particularly) and give everyone a warm round of applause after speaking. Encouraging other members will reduce their anxiety and improve the relationships within your chapter.
- Be engaged: Those members who are fully engaged with BNI are the most successful. This means doing the basics like going to all meetings, doing 1-to-1s and creating relationships with other members. Get out of your comfort zone at meetings, walk around and talk to other members that you don’t know so well. Take the opportunity as a new member to set up 1-to-1s. Follow up with emails, messages and phones calls – you’ll soon notice the difference it can make to your referrals and overall business.
- Be indispensable: At BNI there are opportunities to get more involved in your chapter – whether by joining or helping out the Leadership Team or just becoming more engaged in your chapter’s affairs. One of our philosophies at BNI is “Givers Gain” something that leads to charitable actions and philanthropy. Get involved in any special events your chapter is putting on or fundraising efforts for important causes like for your local hospice or other community organisations. Having an involvement in events like these helps form the glue that sticks chapters together and leads to stronger social connections and relationships.
- Be realistic: Good things take time. Be persistent in your efforts and understand that it will take a few months to develop relationships in your chapter before you really see those referrals coming in. If you are a naturally outgoing person, you may quickly build connections in your chapter; for others, it may take some time to form strong and trusting relationships with your fellow members.
FOMO and new member nervousness is a reality at BNI, but with support from your fellow members these feelings quickly dissipate. If you see a member, especially a new member or visitor, struggling during a meeting, reach out to them and help to make their experience at BNI a good one. Remember Givers Gain – what you give to others will come back to you with interest.