Art of Networking

With all of technological advancements, many people think that professional networking is Linked In and to some extent Facebook. That’s partially true from a reference stand point because many validate the people they meet through these media channels. However, it’s a lost art that takes the skill of listening, helping, and sincerity.

Working an Event
Begin with an end in mind so before you arrive, determine how many contacts you wish to make based on how many people are attending. An event of 500 or less lasting 4 hours should consist of 5-7 meaningful conversations. When you arrive, sit back and observe the room after 30 minutes you’ll know the key players in the room. Don’t rush to them like everyone else. Rather connect to the second tier of folks. These are the ones that provide access to the exclusive group.  

As you begin to engage someone in conversation, LISTEN. I mean really ask questions that learn about them. Find out about their hobbies, favorite sports team, university attended or city where they grew up. Why because networking is about common interest. Afterwards, in order to create a lasting connection, you need to HELP their cause. When you are SINCERE and have that person’s best interest at heart, it’s at that point when you become colleagues, friends, and sometimes even referred to as family. From that point, you now have invested capital to ask for help in turn to reach your career/personal goals.

Create New Networks
Growth begins with new thoughts and adapting to changes. Thus, you need to constantly look for opportunities for to expand your network. Meaning, you probably belong to a church, fraternity/sorority, and maybe even a professional group. I challenge you to go to a different place where people display positive traits or add one of the above. Remember, just listen, help and be sincere by providing your service or support. Surprisingly, you’ll find a major connection and even stretch your thinking.

You’ll stay connected through Linked In and/or Facebook which are the tools. Together you’ll climb mountains and change the world from listening, helping, with sincerity…that’s The Art.