Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Reginald Jackson (USA).
For some of us, the thought of going to a networking event conjures up images of a blind date gone bad. Maybe you are uncomfortable at the notion of going someplace where you will know anyone, and maybe you are scared to death of what may (or may not) happen. When you go to a networking event, what do you say? What do you do? Does the thought of it bring on not so pleasant memories or feelings of dread or fright? Maybe for you, it’s not that severe. However, it is for some.
Maybe you just don’t see the point in going in the first place. More times than not, there can be a stigma you’ve attached to networking that makes it an unsavoury event. If this describes you or someone you know, I have good news for you. Networking is actually one of the greatest tools ever!
Networking is nothing more than meeting people and creating relationships. For all intents and purposes, you have been networking all your life. It goes back as far as (maybe) daycare or kindergarten. Think about it. It is everywhere you look (meeting people and creating relationships).
Today’s kids have ‘play dates.’ Networking!
When you were growing up did you ever sell anything for a school project (wrapping paper, fruit, magazines, etc.)? Networking!
Asking friends if they know that guy or girl in Mr. Franklin’s English class? Networking!
You get the picture.
Whether you are the initiator or on the receiving end, you play just as much of a pivotal role as everyone else in the conversation. You would be surprised at how many people you know personally and professionally. All of these people are a part of your network. Never underestimate the power of your networking ability.
As far as networking events are concerned, they need not be among the worst things in the world to do. What’s even better is you don’t need an event to network. The thing that makes networking so valuable is the call to action. It’s the part of the conversation that starts with, ‘Who do you know who…?’ Example: Who do you know who works in ______? or; Who do you know who is looking for ______?
You would be surprised at how small the world really is. The answer to those questions is not that hard to come by. There are usually 2 to 3 degrees of separation between you and whoever you (or someone you know) are looking to meet or connect with.
Most people, in some way, shape or form, want to help. When we are asked a question, we typically try to answer it. Better yet, once the question is asked, the mental Rolodex (dating myself) starts spinning. All depending, the question will remain (in the brain) until it’s answered; even if the question is posed to someone else in search of the answer.
The point is, networking is much easier than most believe. Keeping these thoughts in mind will help you realise the easiest thing about networking is you!