Networking is the process of communicating with other people to build relationships that can serve a mutual social benefit. It involves sharing information and insights from specific areas of expertise, resulting in a variety of in-person and online connections.
Networking skills, if suitably exerted, are powerful tools for creating a professional social context supporting information and know-how sharing among interested individuals. Of course, to build strong, authentic relationships takes a long time, and managing reciprocity on a professional level can be delicate sometimes. Still, investing energy in creating a network of beneficial relationships is worthy. By the way, properly handling a network of professional relationships seems to be one of the most effective inborn skills of successful businessmen.
Yesterday Andrea Ferri, one of our members, organized a workshop to let the chapter members understand the basis of networking. During the workshop, participants were provided with an insight over the way of thinking of an effective networker. Getting to know your audience and focusing more on the needs and interests of others than ours: this is the right attitude. Nowadays, many networking activities take place on online social media. The speaker also suggested some practical activities for enhancing networking skills. For instance, writing down our strengths and weaknesses and those of the person we’re talking to can be useful for better approaching job interviews and other business opportunities.
After that, some networking best practices were introduced. Such activities usually help networkers to obtain the maximum effectiveness with the least effort. The most important thing to have in mind is the reason why you want to make connections. Then, you need to identify the specific audience you wish to connect with. Last but not least, you should always remember to care more about what you are giving than what you are getting.