031: Creating mutually beneficial relationships with Diane Darling

Not one to be shy about challenges, Diane Darling did standup comedy in order to overcome her fear of public speaking.

An adventurous soul, she once raised her hand when a magician asked for volunteers. Not knowing what was to follow, she found herself sawed in half by a chainsaw. She was beside herself.

At the age of six, her family moved to Asia and thus began her interest in diverse cultures, languages, and food. Imagine the innocent voice of a child asking, “Dad, why does the Chinese babysitter not know how to play Chinese checkers?” To date, she has been to all seven continents and roughly 60 countries. 

McGraw-Hill has published her books in seven languages which is impressive, however, she only speaks English!

Organizations such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, 20th Century Fox, Fidelity Investments, Cisco, and even MIT Charm School (yes there is such a thing!) have hired Diane to speak. Her talks are informative, inspirational, and witty.

Today she coaches people on how to create and maintain mutually beneficial relationships.


What are some of the top mistakes that people make when networking?

·         “I think the top mistake people make is that they don’t do it until they have to! All of a sudden they need a new job, lawyer, or whatever it might be and then they ask people and vanish.”

What’s your advice for introverts?

·         “Most people out in Boston don’t believe that I test as an introvert. What I found was there’s a difference between being an introvert and being dysfunctionally unable to talk to people and people bucket those two. People don’t understand is what happens is that they get burnt out from too much people time.”


How do you recommend someone gets out of a conversation?

·         “Odds are, they’re trying to leave the conversation too. The conversation has probably taken its course and you’re both thinking the same thing. Neither of you want to hurt the other person's feelings but you’re both done.”


Share with us one of your best networking stories

·         “Everything that goes to me goes back to networking because my definition of networking is building relationships before we need them. I’m not necessarily in a relationship building mode, it just turns out that the conversations build trust.”


How do you stay in front of your network or community?

·         “It’s hard and I’ve learned some good things and some bad things. I would say that everyone should create a friends and family fan club list and these days with Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and tools like that there’s no reason not to touch base with people.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

·         “To me, they’re one in the same. We used to have snail mail and phone calls. Now we’re doing things over email and Skype. It’s just different methods of staying in touch.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

·         “Start with the people you know and go from there. There’s a pressure that we should always get something else or something new but in some cases, work with what you have. Identify who’s in your network now that you would like to engage with, why it’s important, and act on that.”



You can get in contact with Diane at:


Visit her website at Dianedarling.com


Email her at Diane@Dianedarling.com