Do you feel like you do not connect well with people? Is there something you lack when networking? Do you want to know how to build networking skills?
If you have all these questions and more in mind, then you are not alone.
In our personal and professional lives, we need people to help us in one way or the other.
As a result, we have to build and maintain good and valuable relationships with them to ensure that they come through when we need them.
To achieve this, we need to meet people, network, and then build relationships.
Several people are not able to attain this because they do not know how to effectively network due to a lack of skills.
Hence, we will share with you essential information on how to build networking skills.
To begin, let us look at what networking skills are.
What are Networking Skills? – How to Build Networking Skills
Networking skills are a set of soft skills that enables a person to meet and build social or professional contacts and relationships.
Without networking skills, an individual will find it difficult to grow relationships with new people and promote and provide value.
As a business person, networking skills will make it easier for you to build and sustain your business.
Hence, you need to see networking skills as a necessity.
Basic Networking Skills – How to Build Networking Skills
As you now know, a set of soft skills makes up networking skills.
There are several of them; however, we will share with you the basic networking skills everybody needs to have.
You can work to improve the following skills as they will add up to building your networking skills:
Communication Skills – How to Build Networking Skills
The process of passing and receiving information is called communication.
It involves verbally speaking to others, non-verbally communication via body language, and written communication.
In other words, you can communicate with people by speaking to them, exhibiting body signs, and having your information written and sent to the other party.
Since communication is not one way, we get to receive information from other people when they exhibit body signs, speak to us, and send written information to us.
Communication allows us to share with others what we feel and think.
So, communication is very vital when networking, because you cannot build relationships with people if you do not let them know what you think or feel.
Communication is poor when a person lacks communication skills.
This makes networking difficult.
Therefore, a person has to possess communication skills to effectively network.
This is why communication skills are part of the skills included in networking skills.
Social skills enable a person to effectively relate and connect with other people.
These skills ensure that a person is friendly and conveys kindness and honesty to people.
A person that possesses these skills will have a likable personality and appearance and will give out the proper body language at all times.
As a result, such a person will be able to gain the understanding and trust of people that helps to build a healthy and strong groundwork for new relationships when networking.
Positivity – How to Build Networking Skills
Nobody appreciates negative energy.
This is why most people do not associate with negative people.
Hence, networking skills include positivity.
A person has to possess positivity to draw people to themselves.
People will easily develop a strong connection with a positive person.
Active listening is the act of showing that you are positively engaged in a conversation.
A person can absently listen while another person is speaking and still communicate with them.
However, this does not show that such a person is invested in that conversation and most times discourage the speaker.
As a result, it might end a conversation faster than it should.
This should not be so when networking because it will make the speaker not want to connect with the listener.
Hence, active listening is needed.
When a person actively listens, it shows as they nod their head in affirmation, repeat what the speaker said, maintain eye contact, etc.
Active listening makes a speaker feel appreciated and want to communicate more.
Humor – How to Build Networking Skills
Humor brings people together on neutral grounds.
Once a good joke is cracked, everybody laughs together.
At that moment, there is just joy and no ill feelings.
It releases tension and puts people at ease.
This is why when a person uses humor appropriately it attracts people to them.
It makes such a person more approachable and friendly.
Have you ever spoken to someone about someone that is bothering you and feel like the person is also bothered by it?
If you have, then you should know how comforting it is to have someone who does not only understand you but feels what you are feeling or going through.
Most times, this makes you feel connected to that person and want to open up more.
This is what empathy does.
Empathy is the ability to feel what someone else is feeling.
To connect and network with people, you need to possess empathy.
Public Speaking Skills – How to Build Networking Skills
Sometimes you will have to communicate with more than one person when networking.
In this case, if you do not know how to effectively communicate with several people at once, you will not effectively network with them.
Hence, to effectively network with them, you will need to possess public speaking skills.
Public speaking skills will provide you with the confidence to speak, help you to articulate, maintain eye contact the people, etc.
This way they will be drawn to you and better understand you.
Benefits of Networking – How to Build Networking Skills
As we earlier stated, networking skills enable a person to network.
Networking is important for several reasons in both your professional and personal life.
We will share some of the benefits of networking, to encourage you to build networking skills.
It Provides New Opportunities
Networking exposes you to new people who are sometimes great people with great connections.
As a result, you get exposed to new and amazing opportunities when you connect with these people.
Sometimes, just one meeting is enough to change your life and improve your career.
For instance, you can meet up with a popular celebrity who can make your business more known to people just by making a post on social media.
This in turn can help to boost your business sales drastically.
So, never undermine networking.
It Builds Confidence – How to Build Networking Skills
Networking exposes you to new people.
It makes a person communicate and relate with several people.
As a result, it can help to build confidence.
This is especially true for someone who is not very social.
The more people they get to meet, the more they believe in themselves and socialize.
Additionally, when you network and build relationships with great people, there is a high tendency for their confidence to rub off on you.
Furthermore, getting exposed to people and opportunities you have never seen before can boost and build confidence in you.
It Provides Visibility
There are several people out there who do the same thing you do.
So, to stand out and have opportunities and offers from people you have to get noticed.
Networking can make this possible.
When you build relationships and promote value to people, you will start getting noticed.
People will want to get to know you, associate with you, and do business with you.
As a result, you will become someone who has connections with different people from different niches and professions.
It Provides an Avenue for Knowledge Acquisition – How to Build Networking Skills
When you network you will be provided with an avenue to acquire more knowledge.
You get to meet people from various sectors and fields.
As you communicate and relate with them, you will get insights into these various sectors.
The knowledge you acquire can come in handy as you live your life.
You can use it to improve an aspect of your life or help someone else.
It Makes You a Better Communicator
Networking force a person to speak to people they do not know.
Hence, it provides people with an opportunity to communicate their values, feelings, and thoughts.
The more a person networks with people, the better such a person will become at communicating.
It Can Help You Get New Mentors – How to Build Networking Skills
At one point or the other in your life, you will need a mentor.
That said, you cannot find or get a mentor by staying indoors or keeping to yourself.
You will have to go out and network with people to find a mentor for yourself.
When you network, you will be opportune to meet and bond with individuals who have the experience and knowledge you need in a mentorship.
It Builds Lasting Relationships
Networking can help you build lasting relationships.
When you network with people you can get to meet like-minded individuals who have similar passion, goals, and interests as you.
This connection will help you to relate more to these people.
As a result, you might find out that you do not only want to do business with them but also develop a friendship that will last your whole life.
It Can Provide You with Instant Career Support and Advice – How to Build Networking Skills
When you network, you get to meet experienced people who have passed through a journey that you desire to undertake or already undertaking.
At the instant of meeting such a person, you are opportune to converse about common challenges or difficulties and get instant feedback, solutions, and advice for them.
Furthermore, you might also be privileged to have these people offer assistance to you.
However, this can only happen when you give good values.
When you possess networking skills, you will become capable of networking effectively and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.
Tips on How to Build Networking Skills
As we have earlier pointed out, networking skills come in handy because they enable you to effectively network with people.
When you can network with people,you get exposed to several benefits both in your professional and personal life.
So, if you lack networking skills and want to build them, here are some tips to help you do so:
1. Be Positive – How to Build Networking Skills
Positivity is one vital skill needed for networking.
If you are not positive, people will not want to speak with you or have anything to do with you.
So, to build your networking skills you have to stay positive at all times.
Make it a habit to practice positivity at all times.
When you practice positivity,you will find it easy to draw people you meet to yourself with your positive energy.
Your first impression is what matters most when networking.
Therefore, make sure that when people meet you for the first time, they will meet a positive-minded person.
Check this out to discover five principals of positivity in business.
2. Learn To Actively Listen and Focus on People
To build networking skills, you need to know how to focus on a person and listen actively.
This is because people appreciate people who give their undivided attention and listen actively when they speak.
You can learn to listen actively and focus on people, by setting your gaze on them and maintaining eye contact.
Smile or laugh when appropriate, nod your head and summarize what they say when you want to speak.
3. Develop Your Communication Skills – How to Build Networking Skills
Communication skills are an essential aspect of networking.
Without good communication skills, all your networking skills will fall out.
You can be positive, funny, and set your attention on the other person, but still fail at effectively networking when you cannot effectively share and receive information.
So, you need to work to develop communication skills.
Some ways you can achieve this are:
- Think before saying anything
- Make your words clear
- Watch your body signs
- Respect the other party
- Listen when the other party is speaking
- Maintain eye contact
When you can communicate effectively, your networking skills develop much quicker
4. Be Personable
To be personable means to be amiable or pleasant.
When you are personable, people will find it easier to speak and connect with you.
Your attitude, behavior, and action towards things will be likable, friendly, and approachable.
With networking, you aim to make connections with people.
Therefore, you should learn to be a likable person, to make it easier for you and the other person to connect better.
5. Make Use Of Humor – How to Build Networking Skills
Humor will make people feel relaxed and comfortable around you.
This will help you to easily break through some people’s walls and become the person they enjoy conversing and connecting with.
So, to build your networking you need to learn how to make use of humor.
However, as you do so, you have to ensure that you use it appropriately.
That is, know the right time to chip in your joke, and ensure that you do not joke about sensitive matters that can lead to issues.
6. Do Not Expect Anything
Yes, networking is all about connecting and building relationships that will be useful to you.
However, to effectively network, you have to focus first on making connections than trying to get assistance from people.
This way, the people you network with will appreciate you and willingly assist you without much persuasion from your end.
7. Provide Value – How to Build Networking Skills
To build your networking skills, you need to be someone who can provide value to others.
You cannot connect with great people if you do not have something to offer, no matter how small.
So, you have to work on yourself.
Figure out what you are going to offer to the table of conversation and connection.
The value you provide can be knowledge, finance, or awareness.
For instance, you cannot effectively connect with a known professor, if all you have is a sense of humor and no knowledge or interest in what he does.
They will just laugh at your jokes and move on to another person they can rub minds and connect with.
Therefore, you have to ensure that you build yourself and provide value to anybody you network with.
8. Learn How to Speak Publicly
As we earlier pointed out, you might have to speak and network with more than one person at once.
In this kind of case, your networking circle at that moment has increased.
So, you need to learn to accommodate and handle that increase.
The way to do that is to know how to speak publicly.
When you can, you will find it easy to converse, discuss, and network with several people at the same time.
If you do not know how to speak publicly, here are some things that can help you out:
- Be captivating
- Know the people you are communicating with
- Be yourself
- Share what you know
- Be confident
- Gesticulate and make use of appropriate body language
9. Develop Follow Up Skills – How to Build Networking Skills
Networking does not stop once you leave the places where you meet people.
It is a gradual process that has to be natural.
It is when you effectively network and follow up with people that you will be able to build relationships that will help you in the long run.
So, you need to possess follow-up skills that will enable you to reach out to those people you meet.
When you possess these skills you will call, email, and even drop messages on social media to the people you meet and network with.
This way, they will remember you, and you can then build relationships with them.
Conclusion on How to Build Networking Skills
Other people are a vital part of your life.
If you do not have people in your life, you will find it more difficult to achieve a lot of things in your life.
Therefore, you need to build relationships with people.
The way to do this is by networking.
However, when you lack networking skills you will not effectively network.
Hence, you need to make it a duty to build networking skills.
The information we provided will help you to achieve that.
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