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7 Tips for Being a JoyPowered Networker

 

Networking is often viewed as a chore, rather than a joy. I know many people who regard it as something they have to do (a checkbox item, if you will) and are reluctant, at best, about the prospect of intentionally meeting new people.

However, my friend JoDee Curtis and I have a very different take on networking. We love it! We view networking as a way to form meaningful connections and are energized about making the experience a JoyPowered® one. It is a frame of mind that we believe everyone can have. In fact, we wrote a book on networking where we share a lot of our learning and the best practices we’ve honed to help you get the most from your networking efforts. Although one blog post cannot cover all aspects of our knowledge, I’ve narrowed it down to the seven tips that I love the most.

 

1. Be yourself

Genuine connections stem from authenticity. Rather than approaching networking as a transactional exchange, focus on building meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and shared interests. Be true to yourself, share your passions, and listen attentively to others’ stories. Authenticity forms the foundation of lasting connections. If you form new relationships when you are pretending to be someone you are not, the ties will be equally false and lack staying power.

 

2. Be Curious

Approach networking with a curious mindset. Embrace the opportunity to learn from others, explore diverse perspectives, and uncover new possibilities. Curiosity ignites engaging conversations and fosters a sense of wonder and discovery. Ask great questions. This is the best skill you can bring to your networking. Have a few good ones in your back pocket, but also listen well and you will naturally have questions as people share. Consider what people say as potential doorknobs to more deeply understanding them and their goals.

 

3. Be Generous with Your Time and Expertise

True joy in networking emerges from acts of generosity. Share your knowledge, skills, and resources generously with others. Offer assistance, provide valuable insights, and extend a helping hand whenever possible. By giving freely without expecting immediate returns, you contribute to a culture of reciprocity and abundance. The adage, “What comes around, goes around” is true. But, even better, pay it all forward and the world will be a better place.

 

4. Follow Up with Intention

Effective networking extends beyond the initial encounter – especially if you’ve felt a spark. If you’ve ever met someone that you have a strong feeling you want to get to know better, don’t let that spark fade. Follow up with intention to cultivate and sustain meaningful connections. Send personalized follow-up emails, schedule coffee meetings, or connect on professional platforms like LinkedIn. Demonstrate genuine interest and invest time in nurturing relationships over the long term.

 

5. Don’t be afraid to NOT stay connected

JoyPowered networking is discerning. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s discerning. While we do try to make everyone we meet feel the infectiousness of our joy, we also know that some people are not meant to be part of our professional circle. If you sense from an initial encounter that there isn’t a mutual need to stay connected, be gracious and pleasant and cut ties. It’s ok. Not everyone should be part of everyone’s community. And, similarly, you don’t want to spend time on relationships that don’t feed you (or them).

 

6. Find the pearls

As I’ve said, not everyone is meant to be “in your circle.” But there are people who aren’t YET in it that you want to be. If you know OF someone that you want to connect with because you believe you will derive mutual benefits from knowing one another, make the connection. Find a mutual acquaintance that can connect you. Connect with him/her on LinkedIn. Be direct in explaining why you believe the relationship will be fruitful for you both. Most people appreciate directness and will at least take a first call.

 

7. Be strategic

Don’t just throw metaphorical networking “spaghetti” at the entire professional community. Have a game plan and understand the reasons you want to connect with people. Perhaps it’s for your own professional development or for the opportunity to do business together. Or, maybe there’s a potential mentor/mentee relationship. Or maybe you simply see someone whose approach to business, social media, relationships, etc. you admire. Any of these are valid reasons to network with someone. Just know your motivation and assess the relationship as it develops. Don’t keep feeding energy into something that doesn’t have merit for you (or them).

 

Networking has the potential to be a source of immense joy, fulfillment, and professional growth. But it won’t be these things if you are reluctant or haphazard in your efforts. Have a game plan and a positive spirit, and the magic will happen. You can be a JoyPowered networker, and we would like to hear about your successes. Connect and be in touch.

 

This blog post encapsulates the essence of “JoyPowered Networking” and provides actionable tips for readers to enhance their networking experiences.

 

Christine Burrows
Christine Burrows
Christine is the Vice President of Strategy and Operations. Meeting and connecting with new people is in her DNA, and leading a national network of people professionals, puts her in her zone.

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