“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant,”
Robert Louis Stevenson
We’re not far away from spring and believe me there are plenty of people counting down the days to when the polar vortex makes way for the vitality, new life and slightly warmer weather spring can bring.
It’s when flowers bloom, bugs and bees get busy, the sun even seems to be working that little bit harder. But let’s think about all the work that’s gone into those gardens, flowers, fruit trees whatever it may be BEFORE they bloomed?
It didn’t all happen overnight.
Personal growth and the development of your networking skills is exactly the same.
You can’t expect to turn up at a networking event and ace it from a business relationship perspective. It takes time for you to learn about and gather the experience, skills and knowledge you need to successfully network and cultivate business relationships that are ready for growth.
Many people make the mistake of thinking networking (both face to face and online) is just about showing up. Sure, that’s a great first step, but what about when you get there? What personal learning and development can YOU do to make sure that when you do decide to network, you’re making the most of your time and your talents?
Learn how to read body language
The art of understanding what message is being sent to you non-verbally is vital to networking success. It is a practiced and learned skill that will tell you what approach is best when dealing or conversing with a particular person.
Become a Time Management and Organisation Pro
How many times have you left a networking event with pockets full of business cards, then stuffed them in your desk drawer never to be seen again? Learning how to manage your space, materials and your time will allow you to get proactive about your schedule and follow up potential business relationships formed at an event or online.
Be the host with the most
This doesn’t mean you have to be hosting the event but you can be a ‘host’ at a networking catch-up by being a convivial and accommodating attendee. Know how to start and lead a conversation and introduce people by themselves into your group. Making the most of small talk will lead to positive outcomes.
Read and research
One of the simplest ways to start a conversation is to chat about topical subjects that are current and interesting. But be sure to actually KNOW what you’re talking about. Read up on topical events, research what or who is current in your industry and ask people’s opinions. Opinions are like noses – everyone has one! And most don’t mind airing it at a networking event. It’s a great way to get conversation flowing.
One of the keys to successful networking is how open you are to personal growth and development. Working hard and getting yourself skilled up in the areas of communication, organisation and knowledge will bear networking fruit for you down the track.
Cultivating self-development at all times will allow you to grow professionally. It will also give you the opportunity to grow business relationships and to identify when those relationships are ripe for the picking.
How about a Lunch & Learn session to further explore you’re networking skills and development? Learn more in a relaxed and fun environment. Click here for more information.