Two weeks ago I posted about the benefits and impact of a well connected network. As a result of that posting, I received several inquires asking to share some of the better ways to join, participate and contribute within a network.
There are many resources out there that can guide you through proper protocol about handshakes, eye contact, subjects to bring up, etc. What I'll share next is what has resonated the most with me.
Good connections in your network are made when you:
- Listen actively.
- Share values and ideas.
- Have a genuine interest in the person in front of you.
- Find inspiration in that person, especially when you first meet.
- Connect with the other person's needs.
- Cultivate curiosity.
- Pay attention.
- Know where you can best be of help.
How you follow up and follow through afterwards remains up to you. A name in a database remains just a name in a database (yours included).
In conclusion, people will want to connect with you because of how they feel about themselves in your presence. If you're there to only serve yourself, then you'll probably end up with a network of one. Networking is a reciprocal activity.
What experiences can you share, as to what has and what hasn't worked for you over the years of networking?