Improve Your Business Networking Skills
How To Improve Your Networking Skills
by Barry Zweibel, GottaGettaCoach!
Networking is a great way to expand the world you live in. And whether you're talking about formal networking events, continuing education classes, social gatherings or other functions, they're all prime opportunities to meet new people and/or further relations with those you would like to know better. But, in order to do that, you must fight the temptation to just 'hang out' with the people you already know. To accomplish that, you must first set your intentions and then have a workable game plan to implement.
"What's wrong with the people I already like?"
Nothing! And so often it's the case that our busy lives prevent us from spending time with those people. So, when we finally do see them again - no matter what the setting - we naturally gravitate to them. What ultimately happens, though, is that you don't 'catch up' as much as you'd like AND you miss the opportunity to meet some of the other people around you. It becomes a classic lose/lose scenario.
What can you do instead? Say your hellos, chat for a few quick minutes and then make plans to get together at some other time (maybe even later that night) to REALLY catch up. The message is, "Yes, I really want to spend more time with you, but not right now - I want to network a bit, first." If someone said that to you would you begrudge them? My guess is more likely than not, you'd be impressed.
"But I'm not good at talking to strangers!"
The dictionary defines a stranger as "one who is neither a friend nor an acquaintance." That sounds kind of benign actually. No reference whatsoever to scary monsters or worst-case scenarios! We give such power to strangers - people we don't even know yet.
So if you're someone who doesn't like to network because
it involves the wildcard of talking with people you don't already know, consider
that somewhere in that sea of strangers is probably a friend waiting to meet you
for the very first time. And who couldn't use another friend?! Besides once you
talk with someone for a while, they're no longer strangers, so by simply
interacting with them, you can systematically eliminate the strangers from any
room you're in. You've got power!
First thing is to remember that you DO have the power. Remember that. Really! And here are some easy-to-implement, no-nonsense steps to help you move forward:
Establish a Stretch Goal - one that you can meet but you have to
really try to do so - for how many new people you want meet:
Establish a separate Stretch Goal to grow relationships with those
you already know:
Remember these other tips and tricks:
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