Networking is an essential skill to have if we want to survive today. We need to have good connections and referrals so we can leverage them in our career to prosper.
Now we have a lot of myths that make networking a huge task and for some an impossible task as well. Let us burst those myths and get ourselves more comfortable into the skill.
We do attend a lot of Bussiness events and Summits, self-help workshops and seminars but do we all convert those events into a successful networking opportunity for us?
We meet people from different domains and industry, different work experience and opinions, different agenda and each one of them has come to seek the best possible opportunity for themselves. Well, then let us unfold these myths now, and make networking a much healthy and easy task for you:
MYTH 1: Networking is for Extroverts
No, not at all. Networking is for everyone. Extroverts or introverts do not matter. Instead, networking is about listening more and talking less. Now, that can be possible only if you have an ability to listen which means you are an introvert. When we lend our ear to someone, they feel obliged and heard and do generate curiosity to hear from you as well. Often we tend to break the conversation to make our story heard and talk about ourselves. This is not how networking works. When we are in a process of building aï¿½ professional relationship be need to abide by the rule of listening to first and gaining some trust that would definitely unfold future possibilities.
MYTH 2: Everyone you meet could be your door to opportunity
Nope, not everyone we meet could be of help to us, instead, sometimes it is also possible none of them you met is of any kind help to you. Yes, that is an absolute possibility. When we are meeting experts, owners, achievers, entrepreneurs from a different domain, we might end up hopping from one person to another. More soever, we so if reflect back upon whom we met and the worth of even attending the event, we at times might have to be brutally honest to ourselves that the particular event was not even of little value.
I had one such experience recently. I went to an event, which in fact very closely resonated with me, but when I went there it was all about stories and selling, selling and selling!!
I felt the event did add no value at all to my life, not even worthy of my cab fares, which was even more disappointing.
So choose your events wisely, even if you end up having one good connection, it is worth it.
MYTH 3: Go with an agenda
Okay, you can go with an agenda to ask, but that should not be your sole purpose. Before you ask, you should be in a space of giving first. You can have your own agenda of what you are looking for and who can be of help to you, but just hold on, take a pause and think, why would anyone around you give when everyone has an agenda to ask?
The powerful question right?
So ponder a little deeper about it. When you go with a mindset to give back and do make a conscious list of giving back to those who are looking for an opportunity. It might be as small as referring the person to your right contact who can help his/her business to grow. When we inculcate the habit of giving back, what we ask/look for will come to us. So the formula says Give first, nurture the network and then go ask for it.
MYTH 4: Carry Bussiness Cards so you can give to everyone
No, your business cards are not for everyone. Not everyone will value it and not everyone has a connection with you that will prosper into an opportunity for either of you. Get some basic rules for your business cards. Say, for example, Treat your business cards like a CREDIT CARD. Yes, now we all have rules for how and when to use our credit cards, we are also sceptical every time we are using our credit cards, So simply do find the right person in a gathering of hundreds and thousands and share your business card. Else you might decide not to share your card with anyone at all, that would also be fine, but simply do not keep passing on your cards and let them go in a pile of waste.
MYTH 5: Go to all the events, explore the possibilitiesï¿½ there
Nope, it is the other way round that you have to do. Research and research aggressively. First research whether the event has some value or worth for you or not, then research about the event in detail, the website if mentioned any, the details of speakers and organizers. Do deep research, be in a position that you might know more about the speakers than anyone else, get that confidence in you that you know what the event is about, why are you attending it, who are the speakers, and are you aware of all the speaker's professional details in depth. Once you have answered these questions and got clarity then go and attend the event. Then this event will have something for you since you are ahead of the 95 % who are attending without even knowing the purpose behind.
Be ready with your set of relevant questions, get your elevator pitch practised multiple numbers of times, do make a conscious decision of what you are wearing for the event, learn power dressing for yourself, be self aware of what you can give or how you can be of help to anyone then go ahead ask for it. If you do these basic hygiene checks and would know how to be smarter than the rest of the crowd, Networking is a skill that you would love doing it for yourself.
- By Neha Tripathi (Entrepreneur, Speaker, Trainer, Writer)