As we emerge from the pandemic, we need to be ready to engage with our network. For most of us, our network has probably grown stale and possibly aged out. It is very likely that some of our friends, colleagues, and mentors may be out of work. And therefore, you don’t know how to start. In this article, we will share practical tips on how to engage with your network and build profitable relationship.
Everything in networking starts with a question. If you want to get to know someone you have to start with a certain level of curiosity about that person. When I used to network face-to-face, I put total focus on the other person. I wanted to know who they are, and probably what problems they are trying to solve. The only way to do that and get some people is to ask probing questions. So, if you want to get to know more about people, you need to learn how to ask the right questions.
Engage In Meaningful Conversations
You can have meaningful conversations once you know something about the other person. This is your opportunity to both show that you are truly interested in the other person. In addition, networking gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that you are an intelligent human being who brings value to the world. Remember that conversations are bi-directional. So, always ensure that you do not dominate the conversation by doing all of the talking.
Build a Relationship
You do not build relationships in a minute or two. Sometimes, it takes time. Think of this like dating and marriage. As we come out of this horrible pandemic, many of us will need to form entirely new relationships as old companies disappear, new companies begin and entire industries adapt to the post-COVID-19 world. Also, you will want to re-establish old relationships. If you are wondering where to start from, start with asking the right questions. Then, move to engaging in meaningful conversations, and afterwards work on the build a relationship.
Whether you are selling a product or looking for a job this is where most people start. You just want to find that next opportunity. The problem is the best opportunities come from our network. More importantly, they are most likely to come from our weak ties or relationships that look more like acquaintances rather than close friends. As you probably know, spending a lot of time digging through a job board may not necessary yield the result you want. So, tap into your network.
Land the Job
The last step is to land the job. This is where we want to get to as fast as possible. We can spend a lot of time optimizing our LinkedIn profiles, tweaking our resumes, and applying to jobs. However, to get the right result, we might need to change our strategy. Our focus should be on the questions to ask, conversations to start, relationships to build, and opportunities to find.
In conclusion, if we start with questions and by being curious, we can fully engage with our networks and build profitable relationships.