THE FOUR KEYS TO NETWORKING CONFIDENCE & SUCCESS
1. KNOW THE VALUE THAT YOU ADD
Consider the skills, talents, resources, connections, charisma, information, etc. that you have to offer others. Don’t fall into the trap of believing what you bring to the table is somehow less important than what others have; we ALL have value that we can share with the world. Whether you are just beginning your career, changing careers or have worked in an industry for twenty years you have value that will be valued by others. Think about language skills you may have, cultural knowledge, a bright smile and optimistic outlook, or any other tangible or intangible skills or talent that you possess. When you plan your networking activities effectively, you will come in contact with people who will want to be associated with you based on who you are, what you do and how you present yourself.
2. SINCERITY MATTERS
Truly want to add value to others rather than focusing on the potential rewards of networking. If you concentrate on integrity and sincerity when networking you will attract sincere and honest people to your network. Integrity is extremely important because people can sense sincerity. Coming across as honest and trustworthy adds to your credibility and will help you to build a high quality network. Concentrating on your own sincerity will help you to build a rapport with people and clearly identify the people and places where you are comfortable networking and weed out those with whom you would not want to be associated.
3. BUILD A SPECIFIC NETWORK
Build a network with specific goals and categories. Make conscious choices about the kinds of people, companies, industries, groups, etc. that you want to associate yourself with and then focus your activities toward meeting and connecting with those people. You will want to have a variety of contacts as well as knowing the role that you want to play in your own network. The best place to begin is by assessing the state of your existing network.
4. DEVELOP AN INDIVIDUAL NETWORKING PLAN (INP)
We are all individuals and it doesn’t make sense for us to all network in the same way at the same places. Although there are some helpful etiquette rules that we should all follow, the best networkers play to their personal strengths when it comes to choosing where, how and with whom to network. Take the time to decide what types of events you want to attend, how often, what you will offer others to add value, how you will dress, what you will say, etc.