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It’s no secret that networking has the greatest impact on business and career growth. Especially in today’s hyper-connected world, the best way to find a job or business opportunity comes from a personal recommendation. Cultivating your own network today will set you up for a solid future. The way to grow that network is by making connections, so how can you do that? Let’s take a look at the five traits that all highly connected people share.
A genuine interest in other people.
Connections are built on genuine interactions. When you connect with someone, you have to show genuine interest. People can see through a façade of feigned interest, so pretending will get you nowhere. To create a deep connection with someone, you have to actually get to know them, and allow them to get to know you.
Building a network is really all about building relationships. A one-sided relationship will get you nowhere, but a robust relationship will lead to further connections. When you meet people, ask meaningful questions and truly listen to their responses. Allow them to talk about themselves before you do and stay focused and present during your conversation. Nothing ruins a genuine connection faster than being distracted during your initial conversation.
A desire to help others.
No one gains anything from being selfish. One perk of having a robust and well developed network is being able to use it, but not just for your own personal gains. Share your network with those inside of it, and your good deeds will come back to you full circle.
Pay it forward by connecting people within your network who you think would mutually benefit each other. If you’ve got a friend who’s looking for career advice and you know of a career coach in your network, offer to make an introduction. The possibilities are endless here, and by paying it forward you’ll stay at the forefront of those people’s minds. If the opportunity arises, they’ll return the favor by making a new connection for you as well.
Highly connected people know that it can take time for opportunities to arise. They’re invested in the long term and aren’t deterred by setbacks in the short term. Building their network didn’t happen overnight, and they know that opportunities don’t often happen that quickly either.
Don’t get frustrated when you reach out to someone in your network and don’t hear back from them. It’s easy to lose patience when you’ve asked someone in your network to make a connection for you. There are a number of reasons that it might be taking a while – the person they reached out to might not be getting back to them or they could be extremely busy at work.
An emphasis on quality over quantity.
It’s not about the size of your network, but the quality of connections within it. Quality connections are worth a hundred times more in value than in quantity. If you have a highly connected, active network of 50 people, chances are they’re more engaged with each other. When a network increases in size, you tend to see more people as passive, rather than active participants.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have a large network, but that you should focus on building quality connections rather than simply trying to connect with every single person you meet. It’s alright if you don’t make quality connections at every event you attend. Building a network takes time, patience, and dedication.
A future focused mindset.
It takes time to cultivate and build a network, but that investment pays off because you’re creating a foundation for the future. A person you meet today could help you out tomorrow, a month from now, or in three years. Building quality connections now will always serve you well in the future. Know that the proverbial seeds you’re planting now will grow eventually, it just might take longer than you anticipated and hoped.
Anyone can become a highly connected person with the right mindset. When these traits become habits, you’ll start to see your network develop and flourish.
December 28, 2018 at 10:32PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs