Summary: Tips for Building your Network
The molding effects of association are incredibly powerful – on all humans – no matter who you associate with. Building your network is more than creating strong professional relationships, it’s also about creating empowering and motivating communities of like-minded and driven individuals.
With this in mind, here are 4 tips to assist you with networking as you develop a network:
1. You are who you surround yourself with
If your network doesn’t inspire or challenge you, perhaps it’s time to consider what your goals are. We’re sure you’ve heard the saying that you are the average of the 5 people that you spend most of your time with (or something like that). Ask yourself, does your group inspire you or challenge you when you make a questionable decision? If not, consider your goals and prioritize finding like-minded friends who share in seeking success, but also challenge you to be better.
2. Be genuine
At the core of all relationships is trust. If you’re disingenuous or come off as self-serving, it will often be recognized. When applying these principles, do so with passion and meaning, not simply to gain an advantage or to use others in your pursuit of success.
3. Remember their first name
Creating lasting relationships begins with taking the time to get to know someone and remembering not only their name, but who they are as a person. This act, although small, is a sign of mutual respect and mutual respect is critical in building a meaningful relationship.
As Dale Carnegie said in his iconic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
4. Don’t be afraid to be the first to act
As a student or as a young professional, don’t be afraid to act first. Whether it’s sending a message on LinkedIn asking someone to meet for coffee (more on the power of LinkedIn here) because you’re interested in their world or fascinated by what they do, just do it. You will be shocked at what might happen. Worst case scenario, they ignore your message and you’re in the same spot as before, but you eliminated the dreadful “what if.”
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