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Ever wondered how influential people get their success? It's no secret that the key to their millions and fame is to build an influential and supportive network.
Powerful women build networks with other highly successful people around them in a very special way, in that they are inclusive and aim to help themselves and help others along the way, too.
Networking is an important part of success and if you still haven't learned how to navigate a crowd and engage in powerful networks, it's really time that you learn now.
Yes, networking seems intimidating in the beginning, but it is crucial that you learn, so that you can achieve your goals, with the help of others.
Here are the tools that successful boss ladies use to engage in effective networking and get what the want.
Make the most out of this social season
During this time of year, you are bombarded with social gatherings like office parties, Christmas mixers and holiday work breakfasts. Since you're socializing anyway, here are the things you can do to actively build your network:
Focus and decide what you want
Before you go to a networking event, it's important to know what you want. Whether that is to get a new job, meet interesting people, find investors for your start-up, or get to know people in other departments of your company. What I do is write it down, what it is that I want to achieve at this event, along with a few other things that I talk about here below.
Write it down
Before stepping out to your networking event, write down these 4 key things in your notebook:
- What you want: your goals
- What you have to offer
- Who you would like to talk to
- Interesting and useful things about you. Include your elevator pitch.
Everyone is shy in the beginning of a networking event, so find someone in the room that you would like to talk with and engage with them first, ask your questions and listen to what they have to tell you. That way, if for some reason you run out of time or need to leave the event earlier, you can already check off your goals because you already spoke with the people that you wanted.
Be a valuable network connection: Give and Take
Knowing what you have to offer is just as important in a network as knowing what you want. This makes you a valuable network connection for others, and helps in building respect and rapport. It's give and take.
So, ask people questions, listen to their stories carefully and try to discover what they are looking for. Questions should be used as part of conversation. You are not doing an interrogation.
Mix and Mingle
It's okay and even advised to excuse yourself from a conversation with one person, so that you can meet other people too.
Everyone at a networking event is there because, just like you, they want to meet people and get what they want too.
Make good quality conversation: Networking Questions
Your questions help you engage with people and they make the event more fun as well. We have consulted the top individuals and organizations on networking. There are the people that know good networks, and come up with the top questions to ask in an interview. According to Forbes' advice and our own network of CEO's from listed companies, successful start-ups and MBA aumni from top-ranking European business schools, like INSEAD, Nyrode, Rotterdam Business School, these are the questions to ask, to start building your powerful network:
- What inspires you?
- What's your secret that makes you so successful?
- When are you most powerful?
- In what situations are you least powerful?
- What is most distinguishing or unique about you?
- Tell me something about myself that I don't already know?
- If you could wish one thing to happen for yourself in the next year, what would it be?
- Where do you recommend I go while I'm here?
- How did you hear about this event?
- What is on your reading list?
- What is your favourite thing to do?
- Where are you from?
- What did you think about the event?
- What is your story?
- How did you decide what to do what you do?
- What are the go-to resources that you like to consult for getting guidance in your field of work?
- How can I be helpful to you right now?
4# Have fun
Make sure that you enjoy yourself at these events. No one wants to chat with someone who looks bored. It makes you seem uninterested, so don't forget to have fun at a networking event. You'll seem a lot more powerful, interesting, and real when you are relaxed and enjoying yourself.
5# Follow up
If you promise that you're going to connect with someone, do make sure to follow through. Prioritize it and Do it as soon as possible. This builds your credibility.
A great way to do something with your new network contacts is to follow up with them by:
- Meeting up with them
- Going to a seminar or event together
- Doing something together of shared interest, like going to a fashion show, rugby game, or playing golf together
You don't need a networking certification to be an effective and valuable network connection to people, and to be the person people think of, when they have the resources and ways to get what you want.
Different Techniques for Different Successful People
There are different techniques to network like a pro. Much of it is practice, practice, practice and building your network over time. It's a process that goes person by person. It's not about the size it's about how valuable the network is to you, and how you engage with them to co-create value and share as well as connect your network and opportunity that matters.
You can start building your network now, by preparing for your next networking event, with our summary of tips that you just read and by joining upcoming networking events.
It is important for you to have a list of lady boss and successful people for you to use as your inspiration. Then go and choose your own path and adventure.
Eve and Elle is your go to power women's magazine. More on networking tools, and how to's on our Instagram Stories.
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