Whether you have a business card collection that fills a bookshelf or you're trying to become comfortable with meeting new people, one way to get much more value and happiness out of networking is to proactively make things happen instead of waiting for them to occur. Here's how:
- Find out what people want. Ask people, "What can I do to help you succeed?" Keep asking until you get a good sense of what they're looking for. The practice is good for them, too!
- Get out there and meet people. Too shy to talk to people at a networking event? Ask on behalf of a friend and you may find yourself more comfortable. Find conversation difficult? Think of it as an opportunity to discover ways to connect people to other people. You'll find that good conversation isn't really about you having something in common with others. It's easier than that! All you need is at least one of your friends having at least one thing in common with others.
- Look for the connections. With every conversation and with every person you meet, think of connections you can make. Introduce people to other people and you'll create lots of opportunities - and learn about people, too!
Make things happen. Find out what people around you want or need, and look for ways you can help them grow. Life is a lot more fun that way!
For backstory, check out The power of proactively networking