Yes, networking management can make a difference

Some people may identify networking as either reluctant or feel physically uncomfortable after approaching others, naturally they refuse and resistant to interact when it comes to networking. They may also think networking is about giving business cards and introducing yourself to the conferences or workshops. On the contrary, those perceptions are dead wrong and I was one of them before I got really know networking.

No matter which occupation you are, networking is one of the skills that you have to acquire, especially when you want to find a new job or transfer to another sector. Good networking is one of the secrets to make your career. And I believe you also want to make some changes in your networking, otherwise, you will not find this post. So let’s get started.

First, you have to change your mindset about networking if you have a passive attitude toward it. Experts suggested that it is because people seeing networking as a single communication that stops them from approaching networking for the first time. That is to say that people feel they are inferior compared to their counterparts in networking. But in fact, it is an equal communication and reciprocal, you may ask help from him or her, while she or he also can ask help from you. But most people only see one part of networking during the relationship. Networking is not a one-time business, it requires a continuous interaction for a certain time. Furthermore, networking is not only about quantity and it is not necessary to grow a big network, but rather by focusing on deep the relationship you have. Quality is better than quantity in networking and seeing the relationships as mutually beneficial.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on

We have a master of networking, Adam Rifkin, who is listed by Fortune as the best networker, with more connections on LinkedIn to the most powerful people in the world than anyone else.  So he admires the mutual relationship and creates the five-minute favor tool to help people to gain confidence and respect in networking. So what is five-minute favor? The five-minute favor is an idea to interact with others by providing your favor to them without any immediate expectation of returns, and this act will pay you goodwill finally. I have tried this when I was in Uganda and it worked well for me to build a good relationship with others.

So networking should be (extracted from Acumen).

  • Reciprocal
  • Ongoing
  • Mutually-beneficial
  • Intentional and strategic
  • A method to help create opportunities, solve problems and achieve goals

After the theory exposure, now you have to analyze your networking by using the tools below, listing each and every relationship on a paper and see how do they related with each other or not connected at all, afterward you may see a pattern of your networking.

Credit to Acumen
Credit to Acumen

Effective networking should be open, which means there should not be so many lines which are overlapped, you need to cross joint networking but also other lines of networking to expand your professional life to some extent. Another crucial thing is to grow diversified networking, crossing different sectors and different layers. Diversity helps you broadens your own thinking and also helps you go beyond your individual stereotypes. Some studies show that a diverse network, which means people from different works of life, can dramatically increase your level of innovation due to open networking which brings lots of possibilities.

Last but not least, as I mentioned before that quality is the matter in networking and it is also one of the elements to make it effective. Build your networking on a trust and respect basis, nurturing on a long term mutual interconnection. It is better to have a few quality relationships rather than lots of shallow relationships.

Credit to Acumen
Credit to Acumen

After you have done those analyses, then you will get a whole picture of your networking and how would you wish it to be based on your expectations. Remember that effective networking should be open, diverse and deep, and this will be your networking guide. Good indeed favor those who have been prepared, prepare your networking and make a difference in your life. If you want to skip those analyses, I can also offer you an online tool to analyze your networking with your Linkedin account, Socilab and another way is using your email, Immersion. Basically, they will give you the same taste of networking analysis. You can also find this online course to learn more about networking.

Photo by Cristian Dina on

This article was edited by the original author without their consent, and should not be reproduced.

By Social Innovation Insight

We are the bridge of change!

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