|Information courtesy of Ryan Ramsdale and Embolden leadership development and coaching.|
Many people find the prospect of networking as daunting as public speaking. Our minds bombard us with thoughts of insecurity and doubt as we approach new people and attempt to forge a new connection.
What should we say? What do others expect? How am I presenting myself or my business?
The theory of human connection remains consistent over time and can help us maximize our effectiveness in a networking environment.
Here are Embolden’s top five networking tips:
- Be interested in others. If we approach a networking situation with the goal of strictly finding business or making money, our intent will prevent us from discovering new connections. Develop a genuine interest in other people and what they do.
- Be Authentic. If we are preoccupied with appearing a certain way that is not reflective of our unique personality, we will occur forced and disingenuous. You are the way you are for a reason- be true!
- Inquire. Go in with the attitude of “what can I learn from others” instead of “what can I get from others”. Ask good open-ended questions about what people do and why they love it.
- Listen. As you inquire about others ensure you are actively listening, allowing the information you are collecting to break past distractions and biases. Ask clarifying questions to ensure you are on track with what they are sharing.
- Keep it Alive. Connections need to be nurtured and require investment. Connect and support each other on social media. As your connections share content, use “likes”, re-shares and comments to keep your relationship alive and growing; and yes, business cards are still a thing, so have plenty with you.
Leaders who experience Embolden through development programs, coaching and consulting will be strengthened and encouraged for the journey of leadership. Like an athlete, they will learn to love the lift of accountability, be inspired to lead in service of others and gain practical strategies to increase their capacity in a challenging environment.