Networking. Many people are stressed, bored, or overwhelmed even by the idea of networking.
To start, many people believe networking is all about business. They imagine networking as a meeting you go to, pitch yourself, and pass out your business card. It is no wonder why networking can be stressful, and most of all, boring. Why should I even go to a place where I have to hear people pitch me their business and try to find a way to leave them my card?
Then, they enter a numbers game. Provided I pass out 50 cards, there is a chance at least five people will follow up. Have you been to networking events where you found a business card on your chair? Well, you may know what I’m talking about. At the end of the day, did you ever call the number on the “seat” card?
Finally, a lot of people network as a form of accounting. Basically, an exchange of services or favors. “If I help you with this, you’ll help me with that.” Mostly, this creates frustration, and hinders growing the relationship further once the “I scratch your back, you scratch mine,” exchange is completed.
A question I am asked often, is how I built such a powerful, international network? The quick answer is that I love people and I do love connecting with someone new every day. Independent of my love for people, there are specific skills I have developed over the years in a very genuine way.
Here are 7 skills to build a high-impact network:
- Know your net value. It is far easier to highlight your value when you know it and trust yourself. We are all unique and we all have our specific set of skills and characteristics that we are naturally good at. Find your value first.
- Manage your energy. Your level of engagement with every person you meet it is determined not only by your interest, but also by your energy level. Look for the opportunity to grow that relatoinship instead of judging the person in front of you, quickly putting them into “boxes.”
- Seek transformation. The key to transformation is trust; trust that each day will bring new learning opportunities, and that each one in your network has the best intentions intended for you. Enter into the relationship with a student mindset, trusting that the other person can teach you something.
- Focus on the world. When you enlarge your network without fear of differences, and seek to develop an inclusive environment where everyone is welcome the way they are, you will gain a much broader view on life and business.
- Become outcome-free. Fulfillment lies in the complete detachment of the outcome and full enjoyment of the connection. This is probably the most revolutionary part of the way I see networking. It is about the connection and not about the result. Not only the results will come, but they will open up roads you have not even imagined. When you reach out to a connection with no agenda, the pleasure of exchanging and growing together becomes the best part of the relationship.
- Understand recognition. You are the result of what different people brought into your life: their confidence, their knowledge and their belief in you. Nobody is self-made, and the more we recognize this the more we appreciate what others bring into our lives. Recognizing publicly the value you have gained from people around you and being grateful for their gift, not only makes you humble and human, but it also attracts more great people to your network as well.
- Expand your knowledge. The more you listen the more you learn. To receive more from your connection, you want to ask powerful questions and genuinely listen to the answers. Listen without trying to answer back, but with authentic interest of knowing more.
What does this have to do with networking?
Precisely. When you approach networking from this perspective, not only will you build a high-impact network, but you then have those powerful connections in all areas of your personal, family, career, and business life.
Read Connect and Make a Difference: 7 Skills to Building a High-Impact Network by Raluca Gomeaja for more insight.
Photo Credit: Daria Shevtsova, Unsplash.com
Also published on Medium.