The Missing Piece

October 22, 2009

Talk your way into opportunity: a life of networking

The power of knowledge is the ability to share knowledge with other people. What better way to share knowledge than through networking.
conversation
Pic: Human Capital Institute
Networking is a method of communication used for many different purposes. However, the main purpose of networking is to keep in touch with people through conversations.

Conversations are the key to networking. Every conversation is an opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas and share information – an opportunity to network. So, whether you are networking professionally or personally, use your networking skills beyond the company’s annual conference.

Make networking a part of your lifestyle.

It’s easy to collect business cards, names and phone numbers. However, following up with contacts is another story. While it’s difficult to stay in touch every minute or second of the day, finding the time to contact people at least once or twice a year is a good start. Use a special event (i.e. Birthdays and Holidays), as a perfect excuse to contact people or keep in touch.

I haven’t mastered it myself but I do envy people who are able talk themselves in and out of conversations. Holding an interesting conversation is a skill – one that takes practice. So, don’t wait until the company’s annual conference to network. Practice networking every chance you get. The supermarket, library and post office are all places you can practice networking.

However, remember, you can’t do all the talking. Successfully networking also requires listening. You can’t hold an interesting conversation without listening and vice versa.

There are many different ways to network and different types of networking. The key to successful networking is conversation. Every conversation is an opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas and share information – an opportunity to network. Try practicing your networking skills today.

–Makeysha Durham

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