Networking is not for the Timid! Networking takes effort. Networking pushes those of us naturally shy out of our comfort zones. Networking also takes time. Networking takes education, but those who become skilled and knowledgeable about networking find the rewards are great.
Often forgotten is what networking is, where it is accomplished, how it is to be done and what it does for the individual networker.
What is networking? Easily defined, networking is the linking of individuals with others.
Where is networking likely to take place? Networking can be accomplished through an association, church, neighborhood group, club or chamber of commerce. The place is not important, facilitating the interaction between attending people is what is essential to proper networking.
How is networking likely to be accomplished? Individuals and businesses find networking is best done through structured events that force people out of their comfort zones. Whether at a social function or a chamber people tend to stay with those they know, hesitating to meet others. Groups should always e on the alert for activities such as progressive dinners that facilitate even the shyest individual’s ability to meet others.
What does networking do for the individual? Networking has far reaching consequences. First of all, networking helps an individual reach out to those not familiar with a person’s cause or business, thus increasing exposure, familiarity and possible sales. Secondly, networking helps to develop personal growth. How else can one develop poise, ease of conversation and release from hindering shyness than through meeting and talking with others. Thirdly, networking create new relationships. Best friends are created, new business associations are initiated, power partners are developed and a new world opens to the individual committed to networking.
It takes time and effort but for those of us who force ourselves out of our comfort zones and strive to become better networkers, we gain leads and referrals as well as better communication skills.