Check Your Motives, Network Like You Mean It
You walk into one of LYP’s Networking Mixers, and you see some people you know–perhaps they are colleagues, acquaintances, friends, best friends, volunteer buddies, or kickball players. Maybe, you may know nobody.
Regardless of who you see there, eventually, you may run out of things to discuss. You’ve heard all the conversation fillers before, I’m sure; “Hi I’m John Doe. I work at Company doing Job. How about you?” “I’m Jane Smith. I work at Organization doing Task.”
And then, as usual, the conversation has a lull. And, don’t we all love that?
Dale Carnegie Training: How It Can Help You Network Genuinely
Dale Carnegie Training is an organization, inspired by the famous Dale Carnegie himself, full of presenters who professionally develop people online and in person at speaking engagements. In some of these presentations, speakers share about how to network with people in a way that is sincere and mutually beneficial. Some of the questions they recommend people ask one another to genuinely get to know other people help you create meaningful and sincere relationships. They keep you from being a “Business Card Pusher.” In the sales world, that may get you a few clients here and there, but at the end of the networking event, people will more likely view you as someone trying to get their money and use them.
The key to any networking event is to not go ONLY when you need connections or customers. If you want to have a network at all, you have to come at it from the perspective of understanding the need for genuine human connection, as we are social creatures at our core.
Optimizing Your Networking Habits
If you attend networking events out of routine, as opposed to need, you will find that the pressure to meet numerous people and get leads will subside, at least at those specific events. Because of this, you will be able to solely focus on learning about others and hearing about who they are, not just what they do. In that, you will find that you have people in your life that actually care about you and people that will be much more willing to help you out one day, should you need it.
I must warn you; if you attend networking events in a routine fashion with the motivation solely being that you will one day reap rewards from developing these so-called “genuine” connections, you are most likely to give up networking in this fashion before anything like that even occurs. You also will be more likely to come off to these people, whether upon first impression or even way down the line, as someone who is sticking around just to get something from them. You may even start getting annoyed at these people for not giving you what you want.
Check Your Motives
Point being, if you go into any networking event without the genuine desire to help others and possibly never reap “rewards” from those relationships, then you’re eventually going to resent it and maybe even lose those connections.
This may or may not happen for you; but, I feel it is important to consider the gravity of these ideas and what they could mean for not just your career, but also your personal life.
Don’t be known as someone who is only out for their own benefit. People are more observant than you may think.
Blog Author: Mary Barba
Board at Large, Lancaster Young Professionals
Principal, Barba Digital Solutions LLC
Mary Barba is the Principal at her firm Barba Digital Solutions LLC, which offers B2B digital marketing services. Mary earned her Bachelor of Science from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 2015. Now, as the newest member of the Master of Science online program in Digital Marketing at the Digital Marketing Institute located in Ireland, Mary strives to offer her clients and the Lancaster Young Professionals more powerful digital marketing strategies to meet their business objectives. As a Board Member at the Lancaster Young Professionals, Mary actively volunteers her time on the Marketing Committee (January 2018-Present) and Community Service Committee (March 2017-Present).