The Basics of Professional Networking
Our leaders know how important networking is to career and business success. They also know that some people aren’t immediately comfortable engaging with others. That’s why they cover the most effective relationship-building strategies in the Russell & Lea, Inc. training program. Here are some of the lessons we learn.
Contrary to what many people think, networking isn’t just about meeting new people. It’s also a matter of maintaining relationships with existing contacts. Think about all the people who are already in your life, and all the value that’s already there. Reach out to your colleagues and neighbors, the people who go to your gym, and your old college roommates. These are all members of your network, so it’s important to nurture your bonds with them.
When you do venture out to meet new contacts, there’s no need to go overboard. Instead of trying to make as many connections as possible, allow yourself just one or two introductions. Exchange some pleasantries, ask a few questions, and make a follow-up plan. Engaging only a couple of people is a reasonable goal, and the sense of accomplishment you feel after achieving it will give you the confidence to stretch even further next time.
If you maintain realistic expectations and nurture the relationships you already have, consider yourself a successful networker.