My wonderful friend, I want to begin this blog post by expressing my regret for not writing anything lately. I understand that it may have left you without any fresh content, and for that, I am sorry. My life has been quite busy, and I have been struggling to find the time and inspiration to write. Nevertheless, I am back now and looking forward to sharing my thoughts and ideas with you once more. Thank you for your patience and understanding. So, let’s dive into it!
In the past few months, I have learnt several things and one of which is the hidden treasures of networking.
Networking is perhaps one of the biggest buzzwords in today’s social and professional circles. Much like globalisation, it has become an intricate almost inevitable part of human interaction. Networking is basically the process of building and maintaining a relationship. In our world today, knowledge or experience is valuable but in most instances, the connections you have made with people will create a pathway for your experience and knowledge to be exposed and appreciated.
Networking can also be explained simply as the act or practice of communicating with people to exchange information and build social and professional relationships.
Quite frankly, a lot depends on who you know and what connections you can leverage in today’s business and professional settings. In simple terms, the act or practice of communicating with people to exchange information and build social and professional relationships is known as networking. Networking is a skill that can be learnt. Social media has created platforms for learning of any sort to take place but why is everyone not a master of various skills? The answer is simple the resources to acquire the knowledge as well as the willingness or discipline to get it done. I have heard that if wishes were horses, even beggars will ride on them. Likewise, I have heard that where your heart is, is where your treasures can be found. Talk is cheap but action is costly. A lot complain or give excuses and procrastinate so opportunity continues to pass them by.
It is not enough to obtain knowledge of networking or building relationships if you like but it is more important to maintain such relationships. Interestingly, I have discovered that people have the knowledge and skills in networking but they do not possess the charisma or packaging that will make them attractive to others. Other social cues include basic etiquette, how to speak, how to carry oneself and so much more.
Key tips to consider when networking for success;
Look and dress responsibly. For example, a slogan I have is “Looking good is good business”. People will see you before they hear you. You must look smart to complement the knowledge you have. How you carry yourself will determine the type and quality of people you attract.
Go in search of more knowledge. Build your capacity and expand your horizon in your knowledge base. In simple terms, don’t be a local champion. In my journey of speaking, I have discovered that the quality of your knowledge will give you an extra layer of confidence when you stand in front of a crowd.
Be confident. While growing up, I developed a strong sense of self that made me not to envy anyone but envy only myself. People called it pride each time I told them but it always gave me an edge over others. I always back myself in any chance I get. I have spoken to a lot or people that never even give themselves a chance at opportunities presented to them.
Train yourself to speak. Looking good and being confident will be wasted if you can’t articulate yourself properly. You can’t look good and embarrass yourself by talking trash. Ask yourself this, “what value is skill and ability when you can’t express or communicate it to people around?”. If you are like me and you want to get better, start with reading books because your diction will improve, and train yourself in speech through YouTube videos or even a paid session to brush up your skills. Then start your talk show with your mirror then graduate to your empty house and maybe a tape recorder. All you need to become better is to be intentional and consistent.
Build your personal brand. I’m a product of what I have learnt from people but I made up my mind to be myself. What I mean is to use knowledge, skills and experience to create my own concept, approach, beliefs and packaging.
Be teachable and willing to learn. You don’t know it all so be open to learning even if it’s from someone younger in age or less in status than you are. Always look for opportunities to improve and don’t act like you know it all. If you are corrected, instead of reacting or looking down on the person correcting you, accept a different perspective to be a better person. In simple terms, be humble to see your wrongs or appreciate areas for improvement because, in it, your impact will be deep and long-lasting.
Transfer and share knowledge for posterity. Pour your knowledge into others. Part of networking involves sharing your story and journey which can help someone overcome similar challenges or even attain greater success.
Finally, I have heard that first impressions last long so make it one to remember. Market yourself well and build a lasting impression on people you come in contact with. You may be forgotten now but you cannot be ignored especially when you have given a good account of yourself. Joseph in the Holy Bible gave an account of himself in prison and even if he was forgotten for a while, he wasn’t ignored when his time came. The better your first impression the higher your chance of securing another invitation in the future.
I, therefore, urge you my friend to learn how to build, manage and maintain relationships with people. Networking will give you access to any door which will give you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and expertise. I can explain networking as the answer to many people’s prayers of business breakthroughs.