3 essential skills to make networking easy
There are 3 essential skills to make networking easy. People have lots of blockers (cough, excuses) when it comes to networking. Networking is the key to unlocking your career goals. I’m confident you have the skills, you just need to apply them.
1. Talk to people (lots of people)
The first step to being a successful networker is to talk to people. It is that simple. I’m sure you talk to lots of people everyday, which means you already have the building blocks of being a great networker.
Talking to people means building connections. These connections build trust and relationships.
If you are good at your job, you are probably already building connections. They are the life blood of any organisation, where more often than not you have to influence people without having the power to tell them what to do.
2. Take an interest in other people (that means listen to them)
The next step of talking to people is to listen to what they have to say. Listening to other people means being humble, not being arrogant enough to believe that you have all of the answers.
If you are the one doing all the talking then it will limit your ability to build a connection.
Again, if you are good at your job you are probably already listening to what colleagues and stakeholders have to say.
3. Do what you said you would do
Finally, do what you said you would do. Trust is built on doing what you said you would do. To build connections you need to develop trust with other people. You do this long enough and you will build a relationship.
I’m assuming if you are doing a great job, then you would be doing this.
However, you might not be paying attention to your network connections. For instance, if someone connected you with one of their colleagues make sure you follow-up. It might not be a priority for you, but if you don’t follow-up it will break any trust before it has developed and damage the relationship with the person connecting you.
Applying the 3 essential skills to make networking easy
I’m confident you have these skills. The challenge is you probably keep them contained. Firstly, this is due to the belief that work should be judged in its own sake and it shouldn’t be about who you know. Secondly, you are scared of being judged by other people. Thirdly, you are scared of being rejected by the people you network with.
The shift in attitude is that work isn’t just about work. Your work will not speak for itself. You need to network to make you and your work visible. People are a lot less scary than everyone thinks and, most importantly, people want to help other people. As human beings we love feeling good about helping other people, especially people who are like us.
So go and talk to people you work with, listen to what they have to say and do what you say you are going to do. Read Dave’s story, how networking helped make him successful in his new role.
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