NETWORKING – HOW TO BUILD YOUR SKILLS
Networking is about being genuine and authentic. It’s about building trust and relationships. So why does networking make people so uncomfortable? Today I want to give you a different way to look at how you can develop the skill of networking. Together we will learn how to build the connections, see the opportunities and support success.
Practice at home in the mirror if you want, just how you will introduce yourself. Think about the reason you are going to the event. Who are the attendees, the speakers and who are the sponsors? Then determine who you want to meet and why. Once you feel comfortable and confident with that knowledge, don’t forget to take your cards to exchange with theirs.
Let Fear Fade Away
Take a deep breath and start the conversation. The more you practice taking the first step, the better you will become at it. So, be the first to introduce yourself or say hello. When you take an active instead of a passive role, your skills will develop and there will be less of a chance for rejection.
Be a good Listener
One of the most important networking skills you can develop is listening.
Maintain eye contact
Nod your head to show agreement, showing you are interested in the conversation.
Respond with at least one key point of the conversation in the form of a question.
Becoming a successful leader requires time to follow up with new contacts, as well as maintaining those you already have. It could be as simple as saying hello in an email and sharing an article you read, which made you think of them. Reach out on social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas. One hour a week should be dedicated to connecting with others.
Evaluate your Network
A key process of developing a great network is to analyze it for any gaps in contact categories. Review your personal and professional goals. Then, review your contacts to see who is most in line with your goals. Your network can be built from your friends, hobbies, volunteer groups, sporting or social events, not only those in your work environment. You never know where that next career opportunity will come from.