People often ask how to behave at networking events, how to get the most out of them and where to find these good networking events and in particular the networking events that fit their professional and social interests?
The question not often asked is how anybody can work on his or her professional network in daily life?
When you consider these two questions you should look at where you meet new people, not where you meet new people who are there foremost to network. If you consider all the places you meet new people you will also understand which forums are the best for networking.
As with all activities the basic “no risk, no reward” rule applies. If you are not willing to take action and open up conversations with new people you will never be able to get to know them.
When people are asked where they do professional networking most mention various events with the specific purpose of networking but is that the whole truth?
When the question is changed to where people met most of their friends, acquaintances and business associates the answer become rather different and most people then mention common, every day places such as:
The different answers to these questions make it possible to conclude that even though professional networking events are very important to purposefully grow ones network it is equally important to realize and seize the opportunities to make friends and acquaintances in every day life – and to stay in touch with those people.
Being aware of these two sources, every day life and networking events, where ones professional and social networks are created, will have a big impact on how you perceive situations in your life.
Extend your conversations from a simple hello or a nod to some small talk. Small talk might seem shallow but that’s how most relationships start.
Make a sustained and focused networking effort and do it whenever you get a chance to. Chances are that some time after you have met a new person you will get to know each other enough to reach the point where you will be able to talk about more personal issues – a relationship of sorts has then developed and you are now acquainted and can rely on each other in various situations.
What happened to all those people you met over the years? Are you still in touch or has the relationship slowly faded away over the years? Maybe you are connected on social media but you are not really communicating there, as you don’t really have much to say to each other after years without communication?
The normal situation is that people who don’t see each other often or frequently talk in person by phone or in other ways tend to drift apart and have less and less in common, know less and less about each others life’s and thus have little to talk about.
Why do things often turn out this way? Why is it some people who were once close stop communicating while others stay best friends throughout their whole lives?
Maybe it is the lack of that little extra effort to reach out that is missing? Just dropping somebody a note and see how they are doing can be enough to revitalize a relationship.
Staying in touch with people you met throughout your life is not really that hard and absolutely not complicated. Write your friends a short note every now and then and just ask how they are doing, add their birthdays to your calendar and make sure to call them in person. Maybe you should decide to call one old friend per week and share some of your own life stories on social media so all your connections know what you are up to?
Not much effort is needed to stay in touch with old friends and acquaintances but it could be of great importance for you when a life crisis hits you or when you are in dire need for new professional activities and those are some very good reasons why you should keep building and maintaining a strong network.
Take the opportunity to talk and connect with people you meet in everyday life. Talk a bit and follow up later; it will serve you well at all times in your life.