People are a great resource. They provide you with the shortcuts in life... you can read websites and public information, but people will tell you the 'real dea'l and will be able to address your specific questions. So often I hear my coaching clients say, “I don’t have time to network”. I ask, “Can you afford not to network?”
In that context here are my five top tips for effective networking:
- Figure out what your networking strategy is based on your career strategy. In this way it will be more targeted and fruitful.
- Introduce yourself with a sentence about what you are interested in or the direction you’re looking to move into. That’s the piece others will want to connect with you on!
- Give before you take. Think about how you could help others, perhaps by sharing a connection, a piece of information, a recommendation, etc
- Listen to the person in front of you. Listening is a gift!
- Connect the dots between ‘your story’ and the story of the person you’re chatting with.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”