Learning to Love Networking
Networking is a crucial skill for professionals in any industry. It allows us to expand our professional connections, explore new opportunities, and learn from others’ experiences. However, many people find networking daunting or even downright unpleasant. According to business professional Jason Rowley, there are ways that professionals can learn to love networking and make it an enjoyable experience.
7 Ways on How Professionals Can Learn To Love Networking According To Jason Rowley
1. Find common ground
One of the easiest ways to break the ice and establish a connection with someone is by finding common ground. Rowley says this can be as simple as researching the person or event beforehand and identifying shared interests or experiences. It becomes much more enjoyable when one approaches networking from a genuine curiosity and interest.
2. Focus on quality over quantity
It’s not about how many business cards one collects or LinkedIn connections one makes; it’s about building meaningful relationships. Rowley emphasizes that focusing on quality conversations rather than trying to meet everyone in the room will lead to more fruitful connections in the long run.
3. Be authentic and vulnerable
Networking doesn’t have to mean putting on a facade or pretending to be someone else. In fact, according to Rowley, being authentic and vulnerable can help foster deeper connections with others. People appreciate honesty and genuine interactions far more than surface-level conversations.
4. Learn to give before they receive
Rowley suggests approaching networking opportunities with a mindset of giving before receiving – offering assistance, sharing insights, or making introductions without expecting anything in return can go a long way in establishing trust and rapport.
5. Follow up and nurture relationships
Building relationships continue after exchanging business cards at an event; it requires ongoing effort and follow-up. Rowley advises professionals to take the time to reach out afterward, whether through email or social media platforms like LinkedIn, to continue cultivating those connections over time.
6. Start Small and Build Confidence
Start small if attending large networking events makes a professional break out in a cold sweat. Begin by contacting colleagues within the company or industry through informal meetings or coffee chats. A more intimate setting will provide a comfortable space for conversation and help build one’s confidence before venturing into larger networking arenas.
7. Embrace the Mindset Shift
Instead of viewing it as a chore or necessary evil, see it as an opportunity for growth and connection. Networking allows one to expand their knowledge, learn from other’s experiences, and open doors to new possibilities.
Networking is a skill that can greatly benefit professionals in their careers. It allows individuals to expand their social and professional circles, gain valuable insights, and create growth opportunities. By adopting these strategies proposed by Rowley, professionals can shift their perspective on networking from dreaded tasks to exciting opportunities for growth and connection-building. Jason Rowley suggests building genuine connections rather than viewing them as a transactional activity is one way to foster a positive attitude toward networking. Professionals can establish meaningful relationships beyond surface-level interactions by approaching networking with an open mind and genuine interest in others.