7 Ways to Practice Networking
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Networking is a skill that you need to cultivate over time. As the old saying goes: “practice makes perfect.” Networking is an essential skill that will help you build relationships and create strategic partnerships. In this article, we will tell you about the ways you can polish your networking skills and empower your success.
7 Ways You Can Practice to Optimize your Networking Skills
Ask A Simple Question to Break the Ice
When you first begin networking, it can be difficult to approach new people. If you do not know the other person very well, you must think of a way to get the conversation started. To get the conversation going, ask a basic question. This question can be anything from, “Where do you live?” to “How long have you been working in the industry?”
Curiosity is Key
Be curious about your networking partner and their company. Ask them their motivation for attending the event and what are their long-term goals for the company. Your partner will love disclosing this information to you, as people love talking about themselves and their experiences.
Mention a Shared Experience
Have you ever run into someone who you met at a past networking event? Mention when and where it was to spark their memory. You can mention any dynamic speakers or great seminars that you had both attended. For example, “What was your favorite speaker at yesterday’s conference?” This should get a constructive conversation going in full force.
Open Your Eyes
When approaching someone, take a quick peek at them and find some details. Observe what they are wearing or carrying. For instance, are they carrying a book in their bag? If so, ask them about it. You can ask questions or make comments on those details as another way to fuel your dialogue.
Build Relationships on What You Have in Common
While in your dialogue, try to find some things you may have in common with your networking partner. This commonality can be professional or personal, as long as it helps facilitate the conversation. For instance, do you and your networking partner like the same genre of music, or did you have similar majors in college? The key is to find some connection between the two of you to build win-win relationships.
Learn from the Differences
On the opposite side of the spectrum, discover what differences you may have with your networking partner. Listen to what the other person has to say, and do not challenge it if you do not agree with it. An opposite point of view on any issue can bring on a great learning opportunity for you.
Be Genuine at All Times
The most important element of networking is being yourself. Do not ever put up a false front when building profitable relationships because it can backfire on you in the long run. Be your true self at all times while networking, and search for genuine, quality connections with others.