6 Ways to Improve Your Networking Today
1. Find Your Anchor
Chances are if you’re networking, you’ve got a lot of stuff handled. The truth is that we can’t always do everything or know everything so it’s great to have someone you can rely on and ask for help. It’s even nice to just have someone to help you break the ice when you’re nervous. We can call this person our anchor.
Your anchor is basically a trusted adviser, but also the foundation for which your community is built. Even extremely successful businessmen like to have someone by their side to just bounce things off of.
Just by association with whomever your anchor is, your relationship building is progressing. You’re meeting new people, but you’re given the advantage of association. These anchors will be filling in those gaps between your strengths and your weaknesses, they help you become self-aware.
2. Be More Self-Aware
Your goal in networking should be to act, think, and speak like a connector. This will promise winnings. Whether you’re running a clinic or selling hot dogs on the sidewalk, the people who have first taken the time to study themselves are essentially the best connectors.
Why should you take the time to get to know yourself when you could be taking the time to get to know other people? Well, if you understand the true value you bring to the table instead of whatever value you’ve previously been told you bring then you can genuinely improve someone’s day.
You are doing what everyone wants to know how to do: eliminate your weaknesses and play your strengths. If you’re able to recognize your own emotions you will be able to encourage someone else a hundred times more effectively which proves how authentic you can be.
3. Be more authentic
All these new social media platforms make connecting feel easy when, in reality, it’s a lot harder than it used to be. It seems that the true meaning of connection has slipped through the cracks. To this day, the transactional way of networking is destroying families, marriages, and finances. We all need to accept that we’re guilty and move on because our lives aren’t measured in likes and shares. Don’t just connect… connect AND add value.
Most networkers are just in it so you’ll provide something for them and pretend to care so you’ll continue providing for them. Be that person that you, yourself are looking for… someone who has moved past the basics and started digging for something real.
Just like you can spot a “faker” from a mile away, people will know if you’re being insincere. That’s why you should have virtues, and no matter what happens or whom you come across never put those virtues to the side. Stop pretending to listen and start caring.
In the words of Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh, “You want to be authentically, authentic!”
4. Be Curious
To be a networker and stay authentic, it’s important to be curious. Being curious not only helps you out by learning things nobody would think to ask, but it also helps out your connections because you may be able to solve a problem you couldn’t solve before.
A curious person doesn’t usually let the first answer slide, they ask a million more questions to a million more people. In fact, a curious person may never be completely satisfied with the answers you get.
P.S. When you become as curious as I’m encouraging, you may start to get quite a lot of ideas, but may not be the best at going through with them since your questions seem to never be answered. That’s okay because this is where your anchor could come in to write them down and find the executor. (it’s okay to not do everything!)
All in all, you need to be curious about the people you’re talking to. Ask them some questions and be genuinely interested if they take the time to answer them.
5. Be Selective
If you’re being authentic, it may seem quite important to be selective. After listening to 100 different people’s story and thinking of 200 ways to help… you’ll start to feel drained. Being selective with how much of your energy is taken plays a big role in the way others see you.
I recently read about the Pyramid of Influence. At the top of this pyramid is the person you’re seriously trying to reach. If you think of this like a real pyramid, we know that we can’t just swing a rope around the top of it and expect to easily get to the top. You have to walk up the stairs inside the pyramid and to get through you have to talk to the people along the way.
It’s important to remember that there’s power in association. Who are the people hanging out with the one at the top? Try talking to them, connecting with them, and helping them… you’ll ultimately be helping that person at the end.
Being selective is hard unless you’re focused. Pay attention to not only whom you’re talking to and spending time with… but also yourself. This ties back in with self-awareness.
Be aware of what you’re doing, your time is valuable too.
6. Be Generous
Now that you’re being selective you realize you have a lot more time on your hands. Instead of wasting this time, you can determine which relationships matter the most for you. Are you using your time wisely? Is this the most efficient way to achieve the outcome you’re working towards? Develop those relationships you care about and figure out how you’ll maintain them.
To maintain a relationship you need to stop worrying about what result you’ll get out of every connection and start being of service to the other person. You need to become a crucial member of someone’s circle before you can expect help. Offer your time and interest first, it will pay off in the end.
You may think that your time is so valuable that you need to just meet everyone and give your card to everyone, but it’s time to re-evaluate every aspect of your attendance…especially your participation. If you’re able to take out big ideas with someone, then develop that into trust. Those are the real relationships and the real relationships last.
There’s one more important thing… Don’t talk a good talk and forget to back it up. Do what you say you’ll do and get the results you wished for!
Author: MaKayla Dulaney