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  • Writer's pictureLamprou Lab

Successful steps for effective networking

All of us have sought answers to questions, such as “how to be professional?”, or “how to grow my network?”, during our career journey. Building a professional image is not always as easy as it seems and requires a lot of personal work and devotion. Networking is based on connecting and interacting with people, offering and exchanging information and advice, and is described by four major stages: learning, investing, nurturing, and keeping.

The four stages of networking

1. The “learning” stage

In this stage each person defines the main aims, and sets the initial steps and goals, which wants to achieve through networking. There are 4 types of networking people: the loners, the socialisers, the users, and the networkers. The main difference is that the first three types do not feel comfortable in socializing, due to their doubts, fears and hesitations, which derive from low self-esteem.

The four types of networking people

1.1. Ways to enhance networking skills

i. Follow the positive cycle of networking consciousness

Optimism, excitement and willing are essential for adopting a confident attitude, in order to develop a networking consciousness. When you think in a positive way, you reduce your egoism, develop compassion, accept criticism, interact genuinely and feasibly engage.

ii. Be interested in anybody and everybody

Active listening, meaningful responding, mindful observing, and thoughtful reflecting are communication skills, which foster reliability and certainty in relations.

iii. Unfold your personality, communicate your skills and vision

The rule of 7 C’s (clear, correct, complete, concrete, concise, considered, and courteous) is an effective way to convey your messages and develop fruitful conversations.

iv. Be available for help

Offering services and sharing information with your network generate a feedback loop; therefore, is beneficial to create networking contacts, which respond likewise.

1.2. Networking methods

Filtering process through networking pyramid and mapping are essential, as the earlier helps to hierarch and set the significance of potential connections, and the later to select the type of contacts and relationships, which may contribute to your achievements.

The networking pyramid

1.3. Start the networking

A smart trick for a successful networking is to consider this process as a real adventure, full of thrill, excitement, and unexpected happenings. In this way, one can easily pass from the comfort to growth zone and achieve the final goal.

Yerkes-Dodson’s law

…because handing over a card and say a “hello” may not always be effective. On the other hand, knowing to introduce yourself in less than 10 seconds with conciseness, clarity, personability and impressiveness, can engage other’s attention. So be prepared to be short, simple, clear, and ready to stand out!

2. The “investing” stage

Devote yourself on making solid connections and spend time and energy to develop strong and trustworthy bonds with contacts. During this stage, is very important to establish a right professional image (through e.g., an up to date calling card, an online professional profile), to keep a record of others on the back of their cards (e.g., date, time, topic of conversation, even visual characteristics of the person), and to continue with a follow-up, ensuring that your contacts know about your professional path. Attentive listening, asking precise questions and good eye contact, show consciousness, gratitude and mindfulness, and can easily capture your converser. However, do not make rash promises, but be specific and honest in your words and actions, defining clearly your level of commitment. Therefore, your networking is based on offering advice, information, and knowledge more than receiving; following the “abundance mindset”, where there are collaborators rather than competitors, as world opportunities are plenty.

Parameters describing a successful networking

3. The “nurturing” stage

For a network to be lively, is essential that communication tactics and a collective spirit on exchanging ideas and information are developed. This stage is described by the networking spiral effect, in which the more you keep in touch with your connections the more networking bonds are being strengthened; thus, contacts can be easily transformed into advocates and network partners.

The networking spiral effect

4. The “keeping” stage

Achieving a solid and well-maintained network is challenging, due to the systematic need for contact with your connections. Believing in yours and others’ values and abilities, is a requisite, in order to achieve and establish a good reputation; subsequently, long-term relations. In the keeping stage, is essential:

  • To develop listening and learning skills, for cultivating your personality and broaden your knowledge,

  • To create listening channels: indirect contacts, which will provide information for potential connections,

  • To encourage contacts to talk, and

  • To be persistent in a way of diligence and determination.


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