All of the following “networking need-to-knows" are offered with the idea that you want to increase your ability to make a difference, i. e. , to have an impact on others. If this is not true for you, then stop reading now. You'll just be irritated if you continue. Consider these ideas and see which ones seem a little bit difficult for you to accept. . . and then try to test out this week.
- Networking is not optional. Humans are social beings and your work and professional lives involve person-to-person interactions. Networking is one of the ways that you can build relationships.
- Networking is YOUR responsibility, not anyone else's. Maybe when you were a brand new kid in a classroom, your teacher was responsible for introducing you to other students in the class. I'm assuming that if you are reading this now, you're an adult. So now it's your responsibility to go out and meet and get to know other people.
- The purpose of networking is for people to get to know you and for you to get to know other people. It's not just one or the other. This means that when you are networking, there must be some give and take. First, you need to learn about the other person (or people) with whom you are interacting. Then, there can be some time where you talk a bit about yourself, your projects, what you're working on, and so forth.
- Networking is not all about you. If you try to make it so that it is, networking won't work (at least not for long). It's boorish to talk only about yourself, to promote yourself ad nauseum, to blather on and on with no concern whatsoever that there is anyone else present. The people who engage in this sort of boorish behavior are the ones who give networking a bad name.
- Pay attention to people's body language (and be aware of your own). For example, all human beings have space (proximity) boundaries. This varies by culture, gender, age, family, etc. Take your cues from the other person with whom you are talking. If that person is backing away from you, then maybe you're trying to move in too close. If the person is looking at his/her watch or looking around the room at others who are there, then it's possible that you're getting a signal that it's time to move on. Be sensitive to such clues-and be aware when you might be sending those cues to others.
There are so many concepts about networking that you probably never learned. College and graduate school rarely teaches us that, at least not formally. It's time to start learning and practicing more effective networking now.
And, if you want to learn more about how and why to network, then you'll want to access the free Special Report: “Nineteen Networking Need-to-Knows (Especially for People Who Think They Can't-or Don't Have to-Network" (immediately downloadable), just go to http://www.MakeaDifferenceandMakeMoney.com You'll see the offer at the bottom of the home page.
Find additional helpful ideas for university folks (and others) by going to
(c) 2009 by Meggin McIntosh, Ph. D. , “The Ph. D. of Productivity"(tm)
Through her company, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc. , Meggin McIntosh changes what people know, feel, dream, and do via seminars, workshops, writing, coaching, and consulting. Sound fun? It is!