Do You Dread Networking? Learn How to Network and Enjoy It!

networking soft skills Nov 29, 2010
how to succeed at office party networking

As the holiday season approaches we are presented with many opportunities to meet people and network. Whether you are at an office party, a party with friends, or traveling during the next 6 weeks you likely have the opportunity to meet more people than at any other time of the year. This article will talk about how to enjoy networking at these events. A later article will focus on how network at these events more effectively.

Dreading Networking

If you are dread the thought of "networking" perhaps you just need to think of it differently, a reframing. Most people I talk with who hate networking view networking as an insincere technique where you fake interest in someone and they fake interest in you so each of you can try to get something (perhaps a sale) from the other. This is ineffective networking. People who network in this way often get little or nothing from the experience and therefore find that networking is ineffective.

Enjoying Networking

What if you had a different view of network?  What if you viewed networking simply as talking to people and getting to know a little about each other? Find out how you can help each other. Who does the other person want to meet? Perhaps you can connect and help each other in some non-business area. Perhaps you're looking a piece of equipment? Or a baby sitter? Think broadly about helping the other person and make a connection for him or her. If you're helping the other person solve a problem (business or personal) you will feel like you are help them rather than selling them something.

Three Tips for Networking Successfully

  1. Show Interest in Others: When you meet someone, be interested in learning about who they are as well was what they do. Make a personal connection through similar experiences or interests. These interests may be what keeps you in touch. Perhaps you are each caring for a sick parent or child. Perhaps you have vacationed in the same place or share a hobby.
  2. Share About Yourself: Sometimes people focus so much on showing interest in others they forget or are uncomfortable with share about themselves. Ideally the other person will ask about you. Respond when he or she asks. You can be humble and talk about yourself. In fact, talking about yourself can be generous. You never know if you say something that will show a way you can help the other person or a friend or associate of theirs.
  3. Your Fellow Networker is a Resource: Often when people network they are looking to sell something to who they are talking with. Take a different approach by looking at your networking partner as a resource for your business. Ask how you can help him or her. Also ask if your networking partner knows anyone who might benefit from talking with you.

Best of all with this reframed approach - You get to be yourself. No pretending to be someone else just so you can get the sale, the job, or the interview. You may find you have a new friend too.

Good luck and feel free leave a comment or ask questions in the comments below or contact me directly. 

Learn the 7 Steps to build a successful career regardless of the turmoil and disruption of the 21st Century. Download this comprehensive guide now! 

Call To Action

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.