‘Networking is essential for success’ is a piece of advice repeatedly given. The critical part missing in this advice is the mechanism to build a professional network. Forbes article ‘The Networking Advice No One Tells You’ beautifully articulates the reasons that limit us from being an effective networker.
As an ardent networker and the National Director of CorporateConnections UAE Chapter, I believe executive networking allows you to expand your horizons, discover new knowledge and lead a more enriching life. You gain unparalleled access to influential contacts who can guide and help you gain better insights.
I list down the simple tactics one can utilize to alter our paradigm towards networking and forge stronger relationships.
The right mindset
- Give up the mindset that networking is self-serving or involves a hidden agenda. Instead shift your focus on building a strategic network with mutually beneficial relationships. Genuinely understanding people and assessing ways in which you can add value reciprocates their willingness to help you in a similar manner.
Schedule time to network
- A lack of time is a common excuse for not attending networking events. One needs to calendarize time for attending networking events to assess their resourcefulness and connect with potential contacts. You can always be selective about which events are worthwhile.
Expand your network
- The reason we are inclined to network with people whom we know, like and are comfortable with is only because they share similar views. However, such closed networks limit our exposure to new acquaintances and ideas. One must strive to go beyond and connect with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. This way we learn to appreciate differences in thinking and can better relate to different cultural viewpoints.
- Most of us extend to our network only when we require help or assistance to push an idea, or fetch contacts. Such last-moment reach outs will surely fail to elicit the expected support. Instead, we need to proactively reach out to our contacts and nurture the relationships so much so that we can comfortably ask for help and are confident of being helped.
- Many of us meet people and exchange business cards during the initial conversation but fail to follow up. The result is hollow relationships where none of us are really known to each other. We need to invest efforts in building authentic connections and strengthen those bonds over time.
- As you meet new people, be curious to know more about their work and current challenges. Analyze ways you can contribute such as connect them to a resource or provide experiential guidance. Meaningful connections happen when members support each other in achieving their goals. This eliminates the limiting beliefs of networking.
Networking is your circle of excellence spun by meaningful relationships and is instrumental in accelerating your personal and professional growth. Get in touch with me to learn more about how premiere networking can make a difference in your life.