Networking – Love it or leave it – Some tips on how to love it!
By Rosalie Chamberlain, Owner, Rosalie Chamberlain Consulting & Coaching
and CWCC Member
We all know that networking is an important part of business. Whether you are in an organization or a business owner, networking is a critical factor that cannot be ignored. It’s all about relationship and relationship building.
For some, it is a piece of cake and for others, it is often dreaded. One way to help networking feel less daunting is to have the mindset that it is really all about the other person. It is not about you. If you are focused on what you want to say or what you need to accomplish, the focus is on you and it can get in the way. Change the way you do it. It is about making a connection with the other person. Make it about building relationships, meeting new people, getting to know one another. Not about what I can do for you or what you can do for me. Be genuinely interested in the other – be authentic. Step outside of yourself and focus on them. Think about how you feel when someone is genuinely interested in you.
It is about building relationships – not selling. Take the “I have to sell” piece out of the equation and just be interested in the other person. Find something interesting about them. Make a connection and follow up. (BTW, LinkedIn is a great way to do a first step follow-up.) When you are letting go of any preconceived goal or strategy that you have to accomplish some business goal and let your strategy be “meet and greet”, the pressure is relieved and a potential relationship can build. Who knows what can follow. Once the relationship has begun, you and the other person will learn what business services and opportunities exist.
Try imagining or visualizing yourself successfully connecting and feel how it would be after having met someone interesting and you have had a great conversation. You may be stepping out of your comfort zone, so think of when you have been comfortable in other situations and bring that to the current situation.
And, of course, the art of building self-awareness comes into play. Be aware of whether the little voice inside has decided if someone is approachable or if they are someone with whom you can connect. Awareness of your thoughts, beliefs and following behaviors is a key factor. I suggest thanking the little voice for sharing and put it aside, so you can go forward and meet the other person, make it about them. After all, it is all about connecting and building relationships.
Think about some of the business relationships you currently enjoy and how they came about. We’d love to hear your stories of how connection was made and once it was, how easy the relationship continued to grow.
Rosalie is an Executive, Leadership and Professional and Personal Development Coach with 14-years of experience working with individuals and teams, both inside and outside of corporate environments. Rosalie works with organizations and individuals to identify behaviors that motivate, inspire and create, as well as those that block creativity and performance.
Rosalie’s clients achieve high quality results by aligning talent, strengths and energy to organizational and personal goals. She helps organizations become employers of choice by leveraging the talents and strengths of their employees. She helps individuals take charge of their careers.
Her unique executive experience as the Diversity & Inclusion Manager at the AmLaw 200 firm of Alston & Bird LLP, 15 consecutive years on FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”, provided opportunity to work with leadership on organizational strategies that enhanced the collaborative potential of professionals, thus providing an inclusive environment for success. She works with a range of clients in the legal, government and private industries.
Rosalie started Successful Life Coaching www.successfullifecoaching.net and Rosalie Chamberlain Consulting & Coaching www.rosaliechamberlainconsulting.com to help organizations and individuals achieve high levels of success. She works with organizations to develop best practices to be an employer of choice and with professionals to be able to experience a fulfilling life and career.
Areas of coaching expertise include:
- Professional Development
- Personal Development
- Life Transitions
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