Networking is all about building relationships. The connections that you develop may end up helping you professionally or personally. People prefer doing business with those that they know, like and trust. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to network so that your efforts will give you the best results. Here are 5 tips for you to become a better networker:
1- Have the right mindset when meeting new people.
Truly care about where they are and how you can help them grow. Of course we all have our needs, but when we build relationships, we need to first care about others. To illustrate this fact I want you think about all of the people that you love the most in your life. Why do you love them? Your answer will probably be because they have done a lot for you. They have loved you. So it’s a natural consequence that you love them back.The same principle applies to networking. By truly caring about other people you will be able to build long lasting relationships.
2- Take the initiative to “put yourself out there.”
It’s so important to embark on new ventures with a fearless attitude. If you don’t take action you won’t be able to achieve your goals. So many people don’t understand that being proactive about networking is at the core of being a good networker. You really need to “make it happen”. In order for you to take action you’ll need to overcome fear and insecurity.
3- Take care of your emotional and spiritual life so that you are able to give to others.
Don’t neglect your needs as it will affect every other aspect of your life. You need to fill that “emotional tank” so that you’re able to help others. By having a clear vision of where you’re going you’ll have a lot more confidence. When you believe in yourself and in your goals this will be conveyed to the people that you meet. Networking is all about thinking of others first and if you aren’t well, you won’t be able to help others.
4- Learn to listen.
When you put yourself in another person’s shoes and listen to their problems, you’re showing empathy. People feel acknowledged and valued when you take the time to truly hear what they are saying. Great listening skills are essential for networking. Practice listening with close friends so that you may develop this skill. Ask for feedback and when you feel confident that you know how to listen, start building new relationships.
5- Learn to give good feedback.
After you’ve listened, help them out by telling them what you think about the topic in discussion. This does not always mean that you will agree with everything that they have said. By being honest and truthful your feedback will be greatly appreciated. Learn how to say the truth without being offensive so that your advice will be seen as constructive and positive.