It’s amazing how important networking is to your personal and business success and how few people are actually good at it. I just came back from a Global Leadership Conference put on by EO and one speaker in particular (Christina Harbridge) really stated it well to succeed in successful networking and the best part of it is – it’s not HARD. Successful politicians are for better or for worse pretty good at it. The key to successful networking is … “Watch for what you like in the person.”
As human beings, we are quick to judge – usually in 8 seconds and we’ve already cast judgment on someone whether or not they are cool, useful, good, bad, friendly, unfriendly etc. Usually after that 8 seconds we’re ready to bail on the conversation and find the next person to talk to or we tense up as we’re trying to impress them with our conversational prose as they’ve proven themselves to be useful to us. What a terrible way to network. Nobody likes to be judged or used. People usually can see right through that and you’ll often miss opportunities to connect and celebrate those serendipitous moments that make life interesting. Tell yourself the next time you chat with a new person that you’ll try to focus on those things that you like in the person. You’ll relax more, your eyes will convey respect and genuineness in your conversation. It’ll change the tone and effectiveness of your networking and for the person you are networking with.
Seems pretty straightforward, right? Watching for what you like naturally makes you more interested in the person and the conversation moves from rigid to more of a casual conversation amongst friends. I can’t tell you how many examples of people that I’ve had a great conversation with at a conference or folks I’ve met while traveling that have led to successful opportunities just by being genuinely interested in the person and focusing on what I like about him or her. I’m definitely not perfect at it, but it sure makes networking a lot more interesting and fun. Try it out at the next networking event – only focus on one thing, what you like about that person – and let us know how it works out for you. Feel free to share some of your successful networking tips below.