Tap into People Power
I have a few well-connected friends. Mark, Sheila, and Tracey all set the standard when it comes to people who network with ease. My friends have networking built into their DNA, regardless of what they tell me, whereas I continually practice the art. But, when I do it, I do it well. As I was chatting with Sheila this week about helping my former colleague and friend Parneet connect to people in her new state of residence, I shared my relationships, alongside my practical experience are my professional currency. Within all of my roles, I prioritize getting to know and understand my colleagues and clients.
Building Strong Relationships
If I’m spending any significant amount of time with anyone, I “learn” them. I learn motivations and inspirations and understand what they want out of a project or person or me. If we really get along, I'll ask about their dreams or what success looks like. This might sound like a lot. Guess what? It is. It isn’t easy to prioritize this activity as necessary when you have work to do. But, investing the time in learning your colleagues and clients makes it easier to do your job in the long run. It also makes it easier for those initial conversations to turn into tangible, lasting relationships. Also, it makes the entire process of networking a bit more enjoyable because technically you’ve already done it. As you meet new people, reflect on the initial conversations you’ve had with colleagues and clients. Tap into those examples to fuel your people power and start new discussions with potential clients and friends. Take it from an extroverted introvert, your relationship-building efforts will take root, and the benefits will spill over to everything - from the way you create content to the way you comfortably navigate large conferences.
Your Mission Should You Choose To Accept It
Strike up a conversation with a colleague or client that goes beyond, how are you or the weather. Ask them something specific about their role and be ready to share something specific about yourself. Use this approach to test the waters. Slowly integrate this into more of your conversations with that individual and others to deepen your relationships. Before you know it, you’ll realize success!