How do you feel about networking?
In our "virtual" world we are noticing that people are looking for more ways to connect in person. People do business with people and so love it or hate it, networking is here to stay.
One of our areas of focus at A New Look At... is mindset. We believe that when you change how you look at something, what you are looking at changes. With this in mind, Holly decided to ask everyone's friend Google how to network in, "a non-creepy way".
The advice she found was really helpful and the event she was on her way to, turned into a fun, enjoyable evening. She shares the advice and her experience in this week's blog, "How I made networking work for me".
Another area of focus at A New Look At... is doing things your own way. We are all unique and we also have our own ways of engaging with the world. The challenge of networking is that it suits some people more than others. When we do things because we feel we should it's rather like putting on someone else's clothes. They don't fit very well and look odd so it's important to find your own networking style. I've been thinking about how each of our four profiles might embrace the networking challenge.
With their natural focus and drive, Entrepreneurs can be real networking dynamos! The challenge is not burning out. Leaving the event with a fistful of business cards is not the sole objective.
Entrepreneurs are life's builders so use that talent to build connection. Focus on the quality of the communication. Take the opportunity to build connections between other people too. You may only have two conversations all evening and that is fine.
Every networking event needs a Philanthropist. They light up the room and will take care of everyone making sure no one's left out.
They can, however, become so involved in looking after everyone else that they forget why they came in the first place.
Remember you are just as valid and important as everyone else in the room. You have something unique to offer so allow yourself to draw the right people in and tell them about it.
Guides are natural networkers. They love to share their expertise and are life's raconteurs. They are also very hard on themselves and can over-analyse situations.
Don't let post-match analysis take you out of the game and stop you following up on the connections you have made. You didn't offend anyone, or bore anyone. If they gave you their card it's because they valued what you had to say.
Networking is not an Inventor's idea of fun. Although they love sharing ideas, they are also life's free spirits so networking can feel awkward and stifling. They can become overwhelmed.
Even though you may not feel as though you fit in, your presence is critical. You will be able to elevate any conversation you join with your insights and ideas. Be open to listening to the ideas other people are bringing. They may be offering you the missing piece of the jigsaw. The piece of information, contact or opportunity your project needs to take-off.
If you don't know what your profile is yet then take our BUSINESS LEADER QUIZ.