How to Get More From Your Network

When it comes to networking, many of us see it as selling ourselves, pretending to be interested or something you do when you need a job.  If you have that mindset, chances are you’re not getting much from your network.

To be successful in your career or business, learning how to network effectively is essential. Everything is based on relationships.  Therefore, those who understand this see networking as building connections, not selling themselves or help when in need.

Transitioning from a “networking” mindset to a “connecting” mindset will bring better results.  Below are some steps to help you make the transition:

  1. Learn how to find common ground.  Instead of exchanging information about your job or business, attempt to find common ground with people you meet. Common ground may be gained by asking questions and learning to listen more. Finding something in common that isn’t work-related will serve you best.  Most opportunities in careers or business come from casual relationships in which both parties have something in common.
  2. Increase your face-to-face contacts.  Once you connect with someone either at a networking event or through social media, arrange to meet them for coffee or lunch.  This allows you to become better acquainted in a social environment.  Hence strengthening the bond.  Look people up when you travel as well.  Remember, people do more for those whom they like.
  3. Make your connections feel special.  Expert connectors see connections as strategic relationships.  All relationships require maintenance and commitment.  Therefore, treat connections well by recognizing significant events like their birthdays, milestones or new jobs.  Also share information, resources and connect them to others.  Social media is a great tool for this.

Changing your networking by transitioning to connecting, will bring better results.  Connectors invest in their relationships by finding common ground, becoming better acquainted and making their connections feel valued.  If you learn to do this well, you will see better results and enhance your strategic relationships.  Happy connecting!

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