In the first of two posts on injecting less “work” into networking, I asked a number of highly networked professionals this question: “How do you take the work out of networking?”
- Be sincere. Networking is hard when you have to ‘act a part.’ If you are yourself discussing ideas that matter to you, any networking you do will feel like having a drink with a good friend. — Irene Ryabaya, Co-Founder of Monarq Incubator @IreneRyab @SocialMonarq
- Only network if it is relevant. There is a finite amount of time to spend networking and if you know the goal and how to achieve it, you will feel much more positive about spending your time on it. — Lisa Cashmore, Director, Network Operations, Canadian Digital Media Network @LisaCashmore
- Build your own “interesting people fund”. Networking never feels like “work” when meeting new people is creating new opportunities. — Claudia Koerbler, Communication Specialist, United Nations @claudia_koerbler
- Approach everything as if you were a student, and adopt a learners mentality. Be curious about your surroundings, who you’re in the room with and what interests you about the topic being discussed. You’ll naturally think of things to ask others in the room, which is a great way to begin a conversation with anyone. AND, seek first to understand others before attempting to tell someone all about yourself and what you need. When networking is approached from a learner’s perspective, there is nothing to be nervous about, as your curiosity and genuine interest will naturally draw others to you. — Adrienne Garland, Founder of She Leads Media
- Great question — still figuring that one out — hoping AI helps out. In the meantime, bringing a wing(wo)man helps! –Danielle Cohn, Executive Director, Entrepreneurial Engagement, Comcast NBCUniversal @daniellecohn
- Do it in environments in which you are comfortable. If you aren’t a golfer, don’t head out for 18 holes. If you love to cook, host a dinner party for friends with plus ones you don’t know yet. — Jill Van Beke, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Launch Tennessee @jvanbeke
Have you picked up a copy of Build Your Dream Network? It is available in hardcover, eBook and audio format. Love a paperback? You can pre-order your copy (January 2, 2018 release).