Travelers In The Jungle – Set Your Goal To Become A Great Networker in 2014

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Dec 30, 2013 in Building Confidence, Self Improvement |

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Taking a hike in the Job Search Jungle can be a daunting experience, but there are so many people to meet! Put your best foot forward and make your 2014 goal be one of confidence in networking.

Many people find networking a very painful exercise. Why? It exposes us at our deepest level of vulnerability. Executives who are accustomed to controlling a meeting with an agenda can find networking a paralyzing experience because they are planners who have yet to master living in the moment.

One sure fire way to master these skills is to make a plan that you can execute in any situation. In preparing for my upcoming Networking Know How presentation at the National Education Association Leadership Summits in January and February, I found this great article by Shane Parrish, (Farnam Street) on TheWeek.com highlighting Robin Dreeke’s book: It’s Not All About “Me”.

Here are the top 10 points from the book:

1. Establishing artificial time constraints – The first step in the process of developing great rapport and having great conversations is letting the other person know that there is an end in sight.
2. Accommodating nonverbals – You want to look nonthreatening. Smile and make eye contact. How you shake hands matters too – match the strength of the other person.
3. Slower rate of speech – Speaking fast may mean you’re excited, but speaking slowly gives you more credibility.
4. Sympathy or assistance theme – If you’re like most people, you’ve felt a bit of regret when turning down someone seeking help. As human beings, we are biologically conditioned to accommodate requests for assistance.
5. Ego suspension – Put the other individuals’ wants, needs, and perceptions of reality ahead of your own.
6. Validate others – through mindful listening, demonstrating thoughtfulness and honestly understand the other person’s point of view and then build upon that base with your ideas that are not contrary but rather complimentary.
7. Ask … How? When? Why? – Open ended questions require detailed answers; generating two way conversation as opposed to a simple yes or no answer.
8. Connect with quid pro quo – Giving a little information about you will help you engage someone who is either very introverted, guarded, or both
9. Gift giving – This is conversational reciprocation in action. The key is to do this without an agenda. If you have an agenda you’ll come across as insincere.
10. Manage expectations – Underpromise and overdeliver- The surest way to avoid disappointment is to meet expectations.

Purposefully networking to advance your own professional needs is paramount to your success. Mastering the art of networking know how where there is a two way reciprocation and development of a meaningful relationship takes time. Establish trust, be available to others and don’t put your own needs first and your network will ultimately pay off in spades.

So get out there and network!

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