Written by Julie Boyer
Where are you creating connections in your life? Learning to network and creating positive relationships is not only a skill that we need in business, but also a very important life skill. What I have found is that networking is about building relationships and serving others. I have always enjoyed meeting new people and building networks.
When we network, it can be at a specific networking event or in our everyday lives. A networking event is not a place to simply give your card to everyone you see. The most important thing is to create a connection with them first. We can also be of service to someone by connecting them to someone else. Not everyone enjoys networking, but in my opinion, being able to create connections quickly with new people is a life skill, whether you are in business or not.
Here are a few of my favourite ways to network:
1. Greet everyone you meet with a smile, and look them in the eye.
For some, this is obvious and simple to do. For others, this is a challenge to overcome on a daily basis. Practice doing this next time you are out running errands. Simply take a quick moment to catch the eye of people walking by and quickly smile. The key to this is not to worry about what the other person does. It’s not important whether they react or not, it’s about being present for one small moment and acknowledging another human being.
2. Start a conversation with an interesting question.
Most of us will start with the same question – what do you do? One of my favorite questions is: what do you like to do for fun on the weekends? It starts the conversation on a different tangent and can help you to find common ground quickly. Our goal is to create a connection, and often it’s our hobbies or passions that connect us immediately.
3. Listen to what others have to say.
This may also seem like an obvious thing, however we often find ourselves formulating our own response in our mind while we are listening to others. In order to become a great connector, we’ve got to listen carefully to find out how we can be of service to others.