Figuring out how to network can feel incredibly challenging. Maybe you feel like the networking efforts you’ve made thus far have only resulted in surface-level connections rather than meaningful relationships. Applying some of these ideas will help you make your networking efforts more productive.
Talk About Your Passions
According to The Therapists’ Network, talking about your passions is one way to make the conversations you have with colleagues more meaningful. Instead of asking small-talk-related questions, learn to dive into the things you care about, and more importantly, the things the other individual cares about.
Try to ask good questions and listen carefully to the information the other person is saying. As you do that, you’ll find points of connection and commonality where you can start to build a relationship with the individual.
Learning to hone your conversational and listening skills is essential so that you make the most out of your business interactions. But finding opportunities to meet new people and actually forge those connections is also essential. According to the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, if you are looking for a new job, job fairs can connect you with businesses that are looking for employees. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Even though attending these events can sometimes be overwhelming, try to think about them more as opportunities for you to meet new cool people who are passionate about the services they are providing in the world instead of as cutthroat competition for the best jobs.
When it comes to being a good networker, it’s easy to think that being personable and memorable are the most important things you can do to ensure that you expand your pool of connections. But in all reality, building your network requires that you actually connect with, care about, and remember the people you meet.
Making a few solid connections at an event where you actually get in contact with them afterward will be much more effective than talking to twenty-plus people without having any meaningful conversations. According to Mind Maven, you should try to remember people and to remember their names.
As you work to find the best strategies to improve your networking abilities, remember to stay true to yourself. While it’s true that networking requires everyone to get out of their shell somewhat, remember to stick to your strengths. If you’re a great listener, leverage that. If you’re a great conversationalist, learn to use that. Working to maximize your strengths will help you feel more confident as you try to build more connections.
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