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Will KintishIs it your summer going to be filled with one after another cocktail networking event? No? Mine neither. Even if you’re just starting your next project team, it’s still a requirement to meet new project managers. Author Will Kintish states that networking is all about building relationships. I asked him for more tips on how to get started confidently.
Let’s get started. What would you define as networking?
Everybody does it every day. It’s simply about building relationships. Every day, we either strengthen existing relationships or make new ones by attending business and social events. To build long-term meaningful relationships, there are three key steps: trust, like, and know.
Attend events to get to know people. Every relationship starts somewhere. It all starts with a smile, handshake, and the exchange of initial information and names.
To build trust and get people to like your partner, you must establish rapport early on in any relationship. Find common ground, ask questions, listen attentively, and be genuine.
Trust is the key to building long-lasting, meaningful relationships. If you meet someone new and offer to send them something useful, you can do this quickly. Speed stuns. You can agree to call, email, or broker another introduction within 24 hours. Or when both parties agree on a time that is convenient for them.
Why is it now the right time to think about networking for project managers?
More opportunities will arise as business activities grow. Project managers need to be proactive in their approach to business development and career planning.
Being a confident and effective networker is key to standing out in today’s highly competitive market. You are more visible, feel more in control and create more business opportunities than the average person.
No matter how technically proficient one may be in a job in today’s competitive marketplace, every person is still a secret, especially early in one’s career. People learn about you and your work by attending events. You also learn about the business practices of others and how they can benefit you. People will buy your service before they buy you. If you build trust with people, they will be more inclined to do business with your company than your competitors.
Do you believe that face-to-face networking is the best way to network?
The best way to build genuine relationships is the face-to-face method. While electronic communication is here to stay, it will never replace face-to-face contact, eye contact, and genuine interest in asking intelligent and probing questions for establishing a real relationship.
Why is it that people fear or don’t like networking? It’s not difficult, is it?
My experience shows that most people don’t like or fear networking. It isn’t difficult, however. It is about building relationships, as I said at the beginning. It was simply building relationships when I started my career as a trainee accountant.
According to my extensive research, there are three main fears that people have:
1. Fear of Rejection
“Will anyone talk with me?” “Will they include me?” “Have you got the right to be here among more experienced people?”
My experience is a good example of how to be welcoming and warm to others. It is best to ignore the rude and ignorant people.
2. Fear of the Unknown
“They are all strangers. What can I say?” “How do you know who to approach?” “What’s going to happen at this even?”