Networking can be very powerful. Using proper networking skills, you can open the doors to many unknown opportunities and jobs. Yet, I hear from many people that networking does not work for them, even though some of these people are always out and networking with others. When I talk to some of them, I see why.
1. All about me. Are you one of those who is so self focused that you cannot help but to talk about you? Every conversation becomes about you. Focus on you is a huge sign of insecurity. You may come off as arrogant or shy, but either way, your focus on you is like holding up a huge sign saying “I AM INSECURE.” This is not attractive.
2. Whiner. Do you talk about your health ailments or other problems? DON’T. We do not care. Is that cold enough? Stop whining.
3. Negative. Do you use negative words? Negative words are weak and make you sound pitiful. Things like “that is just my luck” or other common phrases of defeat show you to be a person with a negative tilt.
4. I am the victim. Have you been wronged? If you find yourself talking about the inner details of your job or your boss and how they did you wrong, drop it. Again, we do not care. Worse yet, we want to run from you When I hear this victim mentality, my mind says “never do business with this person.”
5. You squash every suggestion. If someone is making some suggestions for you to try, do not answer every suggestion with an objection. Avoid saying things like “that will not work because…” or “I have no time, no money, or no energy.”
What do I say when I am networking?
If you find yourself guilty of these traits – and we all do from time to time – then stop it! As you can tell, each issue above is similar in that they are all about you. Again, we do not care.
I hate to be unclear here – but in case you did not hear me, we do not care about your problems.
Instead, here is what to talk about with others.
1. Ask about them. Asking questions about how they did what they did – get them talking. Keep it on them. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, and they like people who ask about them. Talk about them.
2. Share something positive. Talk about what you want to do, the problem you want to solve, or how problems might be solved. Even if your ideas will not work, we all like people who are focused on solutions instead of the problem.
3. Bite your tongue. If you find yourself about to say anything negative about someone or a company – bite your tongue until it hurts. Better to be bit in the tongue now than in the rear later.
Overall, you want to leave everyone feeling as if talking to you benefited their day. The only way to do that is to share in their life and provide them encouragement and hope.
Question: What networking tips have you discovered? You can leave a comment by clicking here.