Five Benefits of Networking
Networking can provide a lot of benefits both personally and professionally, including:
- Strengthening business connections.
- Gaining fresh ideas and insight.
- Obtaining career advice and support.
- Developing long-lasting relationships.
- Increasing professional confidence.
Seven Networking Strategies
To truly benefit from networking, you should be strategic in how you approach networking opportunities. Here are seven strategies to get the most out of networking:
1. Be authentic: Always be yourself. In order to build true, lasting relationships, you need to be genuine. You should also be honest and don’t promise anything you can’t deliver.
2. Be approachable: Friendliness goes a long way in networking. You want people to feel like they can approach you and work with you.
3. Have a clear goal: Set clear and attainable goals for every networking opportunity; know what you want to get out of it before you go in. Are you just looking to make contacts? Are you looking for support on a specific initiative? What is your purpose for participating in this networking opportunity?
4. Do your homework: When attending any networking event, make sure you know the potential audience. Who will be in attendance that could make good networking contacts?
5. Share your passion: You are most engaging when sharing your passion. Your talking points should include that which you are most passionate about. Share that passion with others so they’ll want to become involved as well.
6. Practice active listening: When you’re speaking with anyone and trying to build relationships, make sure you are truly listening. Active listening is a means of focusing on the speaker and intentionally listening to what they are saying.
7. Follow up: Networking is the process of building relationships, and this doesn’t happen with just one meeting. You need to nurture the relationship. Follow up with your contact within a few days, and then keep in touch. Let them know you’re interested in a longer-term relationship.
Networking Within Your Own Organization
As mentioned earlier, networking isn’t just about new relationships – it’s also about maintaining current ones. These can include relationships with your organization’s leadership. Keep these strategies for networking in mind whenever you meet with your managers, supervisors, or c-level leadership. This will help you to grow and develop within your own organization.
Communication Skills for Networking
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