I thoroughly enjoy networking, on and offline. I see huge value in nurturing and curating my network carefully and meticulously.
I’m really fortunate. Amongst the things that I do is to curate a fabulous Facebook group called Women Who Get It (WWGI) with more than 3000 female members. I’m able to crowdsource ideas from time to time from this awesome ecosystem. I also run regular networking events and masterclasses for the Wonder Women in that community through my social enterprise WWGI. So I reckon my networking game is strong!
I recently asked my fabulous fearless female friends in WWGI “Who is the best networker you know and why?” The reason I asked this question is for research for my event planning and to demystify the art of high impact networking for our community of women. I want all women’s networking games to be rock solid and strong!
Here’s How to Network
So what does make a great networker? With the greatest of thanks to my fabulous network, here are the behaviours, characteristics and traits of a sh*t hot networker playing a strong game:
- She was excellent at speaking to anyone and everyone plus making the most of every connection and opportunity.
- She wasn’t concerned about appearing pushy or overbearing or demanding, she just wanted to get the job done (and she was good at it!)
- She always has a story at the ready, and she is bold and brave around new people.
- She nails the one-two punch of introduce yourself->ask a big open (interesting) question to get people talking.
- She genuinely helps women by supporting them to become the stronger version of themselves. This makes her great and her lasting impact on women makes them her tribe!
- She’s so motivated to connect and help others and she’s great fun to work with.
- She’s inspiring and refreshing and magnetic and passionate and doesn’t give a fuck what people think!
- She brings women together!
So there you go. I reckon every one of us knows someone with these traits. I also know that it is entirely feasible for any one of us to choose one or two of these examples to practice so we can lift our own networking game.
Shifting Your Mindset
I’ve posted before about shifting your mindset when it comes to in person or even online networking. So I’m not going to go into that again. But this quote, from the wonderful Sonali in my WWGI crowdsourcing thread just nails it!
I thought networking was about talking shop and keeping it very formal and professional. Until being new in Adelaide and without any friends or supporters, I realised that it was all about swapping stories and sharing a piece of me that provided meaning, so I could be offered meaning in return. I learned that networking is meant to be memorable, not a card swap or a professional hazard we must all undertake. It has been a big eye opener. I so enjoy it now that I regularly throw myself in the midst of strangers!
How good is that? Big kudos to Sonali for throwing herself into the midst of strangers with gusto on a regular basis!
Here’s 3 things you can do right now to dial up your networking game performance:
- 1. Be strategic. Who is in your network and why? Who should be in your network and why? How will you expand and nurture your network and when!
- 2. Know your own stories and superpowers. Be able to use them to make meaningful connections.
- 3. Shift your mindset to one of generosity, reciprocity and abundance. Think ‘how can I help her’ when you meet someone new. Say yes to offers of help and offer to reciprocate.
What else makes your networking game great? I’d love to hear from you!