Networking and building good relationships with others is a very useful skill that is extremely beneficial. But do you know how to properly network and connect?
We often make mistakes when connecting with others and that results in many superficial relationships that are not beneficial for either party.
Here are 5 networking tips that may help you become a networking guru yourself!
Having the Right Mindset is Crucial
Having the right mindset is one of the key factors to being able to establish good relationships with people that you are trying to network with. When you first meet someone new, perhaps at your new workplace or a networking event, the first question that should surface in your mind should be “what can I offer this person?” and not “what can this person offer me?”.
This subtle difference in mindset can be a crucial factor to establishing genuine and sincere relationships with others. Many individuals fail to lay a good foundation with others because they simply write off someone when they feel that they do not have anything to gain.
Keeping an open mind and be accepting of the comments and opinions that others give is also very important. Do not be too defensive when someone’s idea is not aligned with yours. Try looking at things from a different perspective and you might discover something new.
So make sure you set your mindset right before entering a new environment and meeting new people!
Give Before Receiving
We always hear the saying that we should “give without expecting anything in return”. The idea of this saying is to remind ourselves that we should put the other person before us and understand what you can offer them before thinking about what they can offer you instead.
Nobody likes someone that constantly takes and doesn’t give anything back in return. So don’t make that mistake of thinking that people should offer you something before you do something for them. Be sincere when giving, it could be something tangible such as a relevant book or something intangible like compliments and moral support.
There will be times when you have to give a lot first before the other party reciprocates. Having the right mentality will help you understand that this is not an unfair situation, but perhaps it is not the right season for you to receive just yet.
Be Real, Be Yourself
One of the reasons people are unable to establish genuine and sincere relationships with others is because they are not being genuine themselves. We want to portray the best side of ourselves but not a facade of who we actually are. By being real and genuine, you will attract people that will be genuine in return.
By being real we don’t mean being rude and making snarky comments. It just simply means you be who you really are and not a false personality of yourself. Often times, individuals force themselves to be someone they are not and it might usually backfire in the long run.
There is no point in pretending to be someone you are not. Be yourself and people will respect you for that. Be real!
Using the Right Words During Conversations
Another common mistake that people make is not using the right or appropriate words to convey the message they want.
Compare the following messages:
– “No, you shouldn’t use the colour red for the background. Use blue instead cause I feel that it’s nicer.”
– “Oh personally I would prefer using the colour blue, but since you chose the colour red, let’s see how it looks and maybe we could try one with a blue background and compare between the two.”
Which message made you feel more accepting of the comment from another person? Most people would agree that the second message feels like a more constructive feedback and easier to accept.
Both examples are conveying the same message but the outcome of it may be very different. By shutting down the choice that someone made, you are also shutting down their ability to listen and accept your opinion.
Pick your words wisely when conversing with people or when providing personal opinions and comments. The words you use play a huge part in how people react to your message.
Be Confident and Know What You Have to Offer
Be confident of your skill sets and what you can offer to others. The last thing you want to do when trying to connect with someone is to boast and end up not being able to deliver.
We often try to impress others by overestimating our own abilities. This is an ill-advised move as it can very quickly backfire on you when you fail to deliver on your words. Be confident with what you can do and be honest with what you can’t. Most times, people will appreciate your honesty more than your boasts.
You form strong relationships when you are able to fulfil what you promised to another person. It builds trust and credibility which is extremely useful when trying to network and connect with others. So know your abilities and limits before committing any promises to another person.
Remember, we are all learning something each day so it’s okay to not know everything all the time!
Special thanks to the contributing members of Introverts Network Asia for sharing their valuable knowledge and networking tips.
– Mervin Yeo (Founder of Introverts Network Asia)
– Remus Zhong
– Lee Hui Fang
– Imran Tahir
– Ashley Ella Choo