Connect with people the right way and you’ve essentially made things easier for yourself. Networking and making connections is more important today than remembering how to make your favourite meal. The recipe to making successful and lucrative connections is a simple, yet precise one. You could always go right, or horribly wrong, or maybe find loopholes and somehow save yourself from an awkward situation; point is, if you know how to crack your way through the obstacles, networking will not be a problem again!
Before trying to look for the right answers, ask yourself the right questions:
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How well would you handle an impromptu conversation?
- Do you fumble with your words?
- Can you adapt easily?
Hypothetically, let’s talk about average Joe, who’s a great guy with a pleasing personality and all his skills and attributes alongside to compliment his other traits; except one: He can’t connect with people, especially when it matters the most. This may not seem like a problem to him, until the moment of truth arrives and he realizes that making the right connections with people is just as essential as all his other capabilities.
I’m sure you’ve faced (at least once) a situation where you had to fumble through a conversation or felt stuck in an awkward social moment and did not know how to save your neck (and probably wanted to take the nearest exit out of there).
Questions aside, here are a few tips to help you get started on your journey as a Maestro of connections:
1. Build the right contacts
Meeting new people may seem like a task, but meeting the right people thereafter could prove to be one of your best decisions. People know people, and then they know more people; it’s almost an endless cycle that helps you connect with people who are unknown to you. Make yourself an active part of this circle. What might seem tedious and too much effort in the beginning, will surely become a rather interesting part of life.
You never know when a random stranger you had a two-minute conversation with at a get together could happen to be your go-to person when you really need to make something work in your favour.
Networking is a way of life and not something which has a switch button. It’s a continuous process which can reap infinite benefits if done right. And building the right contacts is just a start to Networking.
2. Make the right moves
You don’t ever want to seem too docile or too overbearing either, it’s about finding the right balance. Being friendly and easy going, as well as open-minded and fair thinking is essential. Imagine having a conversation where you’re passionately talking about something but the other person doesn’t seem to care much or even understand what you’re saying; would you like that? If not, your goal is to not be that person yourself. Use your words, expressions and body language carefully.
Imagine having a conversation where you’re passionately talking about something but the other person doesn’t seem to care much or even understand what you’re saying; would you like that? If not, your goal is to not be that person yourself. Use your words, expressions and body language carefully.
The following video will help you understand on how to improve your communication skills:
3. Say the right things
“There’s no right answer” isn’t a flawed concept, but is definitely a risky one. You’ve got to be smart enough to know how not to blurt out anything and everything that you may be thinking, without reviewing it in your head first and looking at it from a third person’s point of view. Would you want to hear something absurd, unnecessary or even inappropriate from someone else? Know your audience and pick your words accordingly.
Dan Rockwell gives you these 10 shortcuts to saying the right things (almost always):
- Be soft when communication is hard.
- Always speak to make things better.
- Imagine you’re the person you’re speaking to.
- Speak to older people like they’re your parents.
- Speak to younger people like they’re your brothers and sisters.
- Seek feedback on your communication style and effectiveness.
- Practice important communications with trusted colleagues.
- Dial back strong emotion.
- Craft words that invite desired responses.
- Exercise courtesy. Good manners matter most when you feel like ignoring them.
Follow these and you should be good to go.
4. Take the right calls
In times of decision making, do not hesitate to review whether you must say yes or no. Though it may seem like a social obligation to say yes to every opportunity, event or invitation that may come your way, you might just overcrowd your schedule and fail to fully keep up to even one of your commitments.
Connect with people in a way that does not involve unnecessary compromise. However, forethought and choosing the most essential options would make it easier on you and also help you prioritize and sort out your commitments.
5. Make the right judgement
It’s always better to do what truly intrigues and inspires you, rather than follow a herd or a trend just for the sake of it. Don’t worry about not meeting enough people if the path you’ve chosen is a little offbeat. In today’s scenario, any and every field of work has enough people to get you going on your socializing strategy. You need to be aware enough to know what it is that fits the bill for you, or you’ll just end up feeling like fish out of water and just plain awkward, on the whole.
6. Construct the right plan
Yes, even making connections and networking require a certain amount of planning, no matter how spontaneous you may want it to be. Moving in all directions will only unnecessarily divide your attention and leave you a Jack of all trades and master of none.
Network yourself only in the directions which seem beneficial and promising, connect with people who will help you grow in a favourable direction, rather than trying to sail in too many boats at once and ending up stranded in the middle of an ocean is too deep to come out of. Networking today is nothing short of trying to find your place is an ocean full of contenders.
All-in-all, making connections is of utmost significance to anyone who wants to know, be known and be remembered. Not everyone is born an ace networker. For most, it is a self-learning, self-growing journey that begins from scratch. Watching YouTube videos on body language, looking up general socialising jargon, and even practicing basic conversation starters in front of a mirror or with friend could be very useful.
In the end, it’s an ocean so, only the sharks prevail the longest!