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Top 5 Tips for Networking Made Easier By Career Coach Sophee Payne

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Top 5 Tips for Networking Made Easier By Career Coach Sophee Payne

 

Chances are you’ve experienced the full-body cringe that can come along with the mere thought of having to “network”. In my experience, most of the clients I’ve spoken to about it gave a visible cringe at the word when I brought it up. Could it ever be considered anything other than a necessary evil?

I believe the answer is a resounding “Yes!”. And it can even be nice!

One of the most effective tips for networking I offer is to approach it with the purpose of learning from and helping one another. Building your network does not mean you have to be great at networking. All it requires is for you to be great at something that can help other people.

When you break it down, the goal in networking is to help someone else because that in itself is a value of yours AND because you believe in someone else and their values.

This requires a total mindset shift from thinking, “What can they do for me?” to “What can I do for them?”

Ok, so we know what’s at the heart of networking. But what is the first step to that conversation?

Develop your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is an authentic, succinct way of expressing who you are, what you value, and most importantly, how you can help others. 

In renowned career and work researcher, Adam Grant’s book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives our Success, robust data points to how to be successful (and one of my best tips for networking): be a giver, not a taker.

Asking about a problem that needs solving leads to more meaningful conversations.

Grant goes on to say:

“In my research, I’ve found that givers have stronger relationships and reputations than takers, who burn bridges with their selfishness. Givers also fare better than matchers—people who trade favors quid pro quo and come across as pretty transactional, because they’re always keeping score. The point here is to turn the whole idea of traditional networking on its head: if you want to build a network of people who recognize your value, don’t focus on what you can get. Figure out what you can give.”

Ok, now you’re ready to give rather than take. But what do you do if you don’t know what to give?

When you do not know what to give, start by asking for advice. Then, this next step is vital: you give back weeks, months, or years later by telling them how their advice helped you.

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, says:

“I would say that the best thank you notes that I get are when that later impact is reported. But it’s part of that, ‘Hey we had this meeting, and it helped me do the following things, and here, let me share with you what it did.’”

There is loads of evidence that backs this up: to seek advice and then share someone’s impact on you is one of the best ways to win over a person in a professional relationship.

However, if you’re not genuinely interested in the advice, it can become evident and easily make you look bad.

You must be authentic.

 

According to the research, the bedrock of powerful networking shapes up to be this:

learn from one another, help one another, and accomplish something together.

The next time you feel a cringe entering your body when it comes to networking take a deep breath and remember these simple and effective tips:

 

The Top 5 Tips for Networking:

  1. Gather with the purpose of learning from and helping someone else
  2. Have your Elevator Pitch ready – share what you can offer others to help them
  3. Ask about a problem that needs solving
  4. Ask for advice and follow up later with how it helped you
  5. Always be authentic

 

Were these tips for networking useful for you? Share your experience with us on Instagram.

To learn more about Coach Sophee, visit her profile or Find a Coach that’s the best fit for you.

 

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