5 Easy Ways to Build a Great Network
Interest in networking is rising. Read on to find out how to do it better.
Friends Lite: Networking could be called Friends Lite. Although not everyone on your Rolodex deserves a dinner invitation, the basic principles are the same. Respect, kindness and helping each other are the key features.
Be Networked: Have other people put you on their networks. Usefulness to others will tap you into more sources and connections than you could amass quickly on your own. As contacts discover what you’re good at, you’ll be presented with a growing number of interesting, productive and rewarding activities.
Choose Carefully: If you’ll network with anyone, your reputation may fray. On whose lips do you want your name? Get to know your contacts, and follow up only where there is mutual respect.
Stay in Touch: Once you’ve made an interesting contact – at a party, a conference or a sporting event – ask for that person’s permission to stay in touch. Reconnect at least a couple of times a year. File copies of correspondence, and make notes of phone calls. Use the record of what’s important to people to jog your memory later.
Calling in Favors: Show respect for due process when you’re requesting a favor. Putting people on the spot is not good for the long-term health of your network. Keep track, loosely, of favors given and received to help the relationship maintain its balance.