How To Improve Your Networking Skill?


Thu, 09/22/2022 - 11:51

Networking skills are vital skills that are required in both personal and professional environments. You can connect with people who can assist you in your job hunt and provide assistance to develop your career by expanding your professional network. You may foster and strengthen your connections by becoming aware of the skill set needed to do so. In this post, we will define networking skills, examine their significance, guide you on the many talents you might need to keep up relationships, and show you how to develop and promote them.

What are networking skills?

Your ability to network will help you make both personal and professional social connections. For many businesses, including sales, company development, retail, finance, and others, having strong networking skills is very crucial. You can meet new individuals, share ideas, and discover new career prospects through networking. When you network, you develop close relationships with your co-workers, friends, family, clients, customers, professors, and other acquaintances. Making connections with these folks can help you to progress well in your career.

Importance of Networking Skills

Networking is one of the most crucial skills that comprises of personal communication, relationship management, and professionalism. One can use these skills are a means of building connections with friends, relatives, or colleagues to help develop your career. Mentioned below are some important reasons why networking is essential.

  • Networking is a great approach to enhancing your career because you can get in touch with a professional who might know of a position that the hiring manager hasn’t yet posted on various job boards.
  • These skills help build confidence. You can increase your social skills, and self-confidence by interacting with more people.
  • It enhances your communication skills as well. Networking offers you to express your potential to others and share your thoughts with them. As a result, your verbal communication abilities may improve.
  • Helps in finding mentors regardless of your professional experience level; you may need help in your job. Finding and connecting with people who have extensive knowledge in your industry and could serve as your mentor is made possible by networking.
  • It enhances your elevator pitch. When you meet new individuals, give a brief introduction to yourself, your qualifications, and your background. Your elevator pitch can help you establish a long-lasting relationship with a professional with this brief introduction.

Top Networking Skills

In order to establish mutually advantageous connections, networking entails connecting with people (who may even be strangers or acquaintances) from similar professional and social circles. But in order to improve your networking, you must acquire the necessary networking abilities. So, let’s have a look at the top networking skills you MUST have in 2022:

  1. Active Listening

active listening doesn’t only mean Hearing. The act entails paying close attention to what the speaker is saying, asking follow-up questions for clarification when appropriate, and ensuring that you understood the main points of the conversation. The following are some reasons why networking requires the ability to actively listen.

Consider the scenario where a job recruiter approaches you at a networking event. They’re not likely to talk to you about open positions if you continually wander about the room, glance down at your phone, and only occasionally nod to show them that you are paying attention. Also, they won’t feel insulted by you pretending to be listening. If in case they talk about job opportunities, you probably won’t be paying attention!

  1. Communication Skills

In our opinion, the key to effective networking is effective communication. It wouldn’t matter if you were clever, witty, skilled, or observant if you couldn’t effectively interact with others. For this reason, you have to be careful about how you communicate, connect with others and even approach topics and discussions that may arise throughout the conversation while networking. This includes your words, tone of voice, and even your impatience to speak over other people. All of those factors have the potential to make or ruin your networking.

  1. Non-verbal Communication

Every message you send that doesn’t contain words is considered nonverbal communication, and it can make up as much as 93% of all verbal messages. This includes your posture, body language, and even your position toward your co-speaker. Non-verbal communication is, therefore, a crucial networking skill. Consider this situation. At a networking event, who is more likely to strike up a conversation? Someone slouched over their phone with their eyes glued to the screen, or a social butterfly who exudes confidence and happiness? Yes, we also support option number 2 as well.

  1. Interpersonal Skills

Although communication skills and interpersonal skills are sometimes used interchangeably, they differ in several subtle ways. In a word, interpersonal skills are your capacity for getting along with and comprehending others. This frequently entails being receptive to cues or adept at “reading” social situations. For example, imagine that you are at a social event and a person with an interesting appearance is grinning at you. They can be too shy to initiate the conversation, but it is 99% a sign that they are open to talking with you.

  1. Humour

According to research, humor is essential for professional success because, among other things, it makes others want to interact with you, makes them feel comfortable, and fosters trust. The same is true with networking, though! Humor can also describe an attitude or state of mind in addition to the trait of being entertaining. This means that comedy involves much more than just making people laugh; it also involves being happy and sharing that happiness with those around you. Humor is, therefore an essential component of networking skills, you may be certain that you’ll get to exchange business cards (or phone number) if you can make people happy

  1. Respect

Yes, one of the most important networking skills is respect. Have you ever got scolded in your younger days for talking over someone or chewing your food with your mouth open? It is ok doing such things in your childhood. But it’s even worse if you behave disrespectfully as an adult, in a networking event. For example, imagine if you are fortunate enough to speak with a recruiter from one of your target law firms, and you behave badly by interrupting them frequently or asking them to repeat themselves because you weren’t paying attention. That wouldn’t exactly leave a good first impression, would it? Additionally, remember that respectful and courteous people typically excel at networking because they are amenable, understanding, and approachable.

  1. Confidence

You must have confidence if your objective is to establish social and professional connections when interacting with strangers or acquaintances. Confidence is a quality that describes how certain you are in your actions, words, and decisions. Now, if you lack confidence naturally, work on it by trying some of the following:

  • Keep your eye contact fixed with the speaker.
  • Speak in a cordial manner.

Think about some topics in advance that you should discuss so that you don’t stumble on your words. Of course, this depends on your intentions of networking. (Example-if you’re going to start a conversation with a specific recruiter, you’ll want to ask them about the company, workplace environment, etc.)

  1. Friendliness

Another crucial networking skill on our list is friendliness. Being nice, helpful, or affectionate without necessarily being close to the other person is a part of this trait, people will flock to you like moths to a flame when you make friendly gestures like smiling, waving, or introducing yourself to them. In general, being friendly makes people less defensive or receptive toward you. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t go overboard, either. While networking, it is best to avoid folks who are overly helpful or kind because they can come off as creepy or irritating.

  1. Emotional Intelligence

The capacity to comprehend, use and manage your own as well as other people’s emotion is referred to as emotional intelligence. Being emotionally intelligent is crucial when you come to networking because, like anything else, involving people, networking involves emotions. For example, imagine, you were speaking with the recruiter for ten minutes. Even if they don’t express it outright, you may tell you made an impression if they are prepared to offer you their card or suggest sending you an email to follow up.

  1. Positivity

More than merely a personality feature, positivity is an attitude and a way of thinking. Suppose you approach networking with a positive outlook. In that case, you won’t be deterred if a conversation with a prospective future professional contact doesn’t go as planned, or if the team-building event with your new co-workers doesn’t go like the way you were hoping for. Additionally, optimism is frequently associated with a positive attitude. In terms of networking, this makes it simpler for individuals to approach you and perhaps even forge positive relationships.

  1. Public Speaking

While networking, it is possible that the attention of a group of individuals is drawn to you. What then? Speaking in front of an audience might be helpful in that situation. Your comfort level when speaking to a group of people, especially strangers at a networking event, can be increased by having good public speaking skills. in order to improve your public speaking abilities, practice with your friends while you are not speaking to such a “difficult” crowd. Especially, pay close attention to your speech patterns, speaking rate, and tone of voice in particular.

  1. Empathy

Understanding another person’s feelings and mental condition is known as empathy. People want to share their emotions and experiences with empathic people; hence it is a crucial networking skill. You can improve your networking skills by posing pertinent questions and approaching an issue from the perspective of others.

  1. Positivity

People frequently like to interact with those who present a positive attitude and are friendly. You may build a good rapport, come across as nice and memorable, and do so by maintaining a positive attitude and viewpoint about everything. Building a strong relationship in the office and outside of it becomes simpler as people naturally flock toward pleasant people.

  1. Emailing skills

Email is still the preferred method for most organizations to communicate professionally, even in the age of social media. But for recipients to read and respond to your email, there are some regulations that must be followed. To establish a long-lasting business relationship, write emails that are brief, accurate, and concise. In order to leave a good impression, do some research about the receiver and customize the message depending on what interests them.

  1. Social skills

Social skills are those that call for you to communicate with people in both a personal and professional setting. These consists of spoken words and body language, as well as appearance and visual clues. You can develop and nurture long-term relationships by reaching out to new individuals and scheduling after-hours meetings with co-workers.

How to develop networking skills

One can develop networking skills from the very beginning of their degree course. if you simply maintain connections with people like your classmates, neighbours, family members, and staff, then they all can form a part of networking. Mentioned below are some tips with which you can develop your networking skills;

1.            Set your networking goals

Setting networking goals can help you make sure that your time and resources are being used effectively to build a strong network. Having a clear grasp of what you hope to achieve by engaging with professionals in your business is the first step in establishing your goal. You might expand your network to find better employment prospects or get career guidance.

2.            Developing relationships

Building solid interpersonal relationships over time with people is essential for both corporate success and a fruitful job search. It’s crucial to first contribute something before asking for assistance. You want to be seen as someone who adds value and is a good person to connect with.

You need to be forthright, sincere, and truly interested in their concerns if you want to develop a network of professional buddies. Ask open-ended questions, get to know them as people first and as potential sources of assistance second, and show more concern for their needs than your own.

3.            hone your public speaking and communication skills

To enhance your networking skills, practice effective public speaking and communication techniques. When chatting with someone, make an effort to keep eye contact and nod your head when you are listening to someone else. The greater your public speaking abilities, the easier it will be to establish rapport and relationships with others.

4.            Improve your body language.

As we mentioned, the best way to make yourself seem friendly is by your body language. Therefore, always maintain a straight back, fully face anyone who approaches or speaks to you, and retain eye contact with your co-speakers.

5.            Take Time to Make a Real Connection

When you and a new acquittance seem attuned, take some time to consider how you could support one another. After all, you two are attempting to learn how to network effectively. Don’t think that leaving a networking event with just one contact implies you didn’t make the most of your time. It’s worth it even if you have one successful contact for an hour.

6.            Ask for constructive feedback

You can enhance your communication style by receiving constructive and honest criticism. Ask your friends how you are communicating with them so that you can hone your skills even more. Your networking abilities may be significantly impacted by this.

7.            Attend networking events

Attending networking events to meet people in related professions is a great way to enhance this skill set. Ask pertinent questions to demonstrate your sincere interests, and pay great attention to other people’s comments before responding to their inquiries. Keep your attention on developing lasting relationships while attending such events.

8.            Respond to Others' Challenges

There is no better approach to starting a business networking relationship than by helping your new contact find a solution to a pressing issue. If someone confides in you about a specific problem they are having, attempt to answer as soon as possible (no later than the following morning) with some information that will enable them to solve their problem.

9.            Leverage influential connections

Prioritizing leads that are more likely to produce results is the secret to success in networking, just like in sales and marketing. This method of choosing the people we should interact with, whether socially or professionally, albeit somewhat premeditated, is typical practice.

Your goals will dictate the criteria you use to measure influence, but knowing what you want to accomplish is the first step in determining the logical course of action.

10.          Improve your emailing skills

Even though social media has become a significant part of our daily lives, a well-written email still has the edge. Emails are still the most common form of corporate communication, but there are a few essentials to remember if you want your message to be read and taken seriously.

Always make your emails brief, simple to read, and mostly recipient-focused. It is usually a good idea to perform some preliminary research on the recipient before writing a personalized email that specifically mentions shared contacts, interests, or noteworthy things they have accomplished.

11.          Hone an impressive elevator pitch

In the business world, a 30-second elevator pitch always remains constant. The elevator pitch is valuable and crucial for summarizing what value we offer in as few words as possible because people judge others very fast.

You need to make sure your pitch exudes passion and personality, on top of important milestones and achievements.

Highlight networking skills

You can use networking skills at every stage of the job search process. It is a crucial ability to highlight on your resume and during your interview, no matter if you are going into sales, marketing, or company development. Some methods for emphasizing these abilities are:

For Resume

Use words in your resume that demonstrate your capacity for networking, relationship-building, and relationship maintenance. In the skills section, including phrases like “business development” and business relationship strategy” can be helpful. Even in the work experience area, you can demonstrate your networking skills by noting a former position in which you attracted new clients.

Objective Section

A smart location to list your networking abilities is in your professional summary. Use the professional summary to emphasize your networking skills so that you may position yourself as a qualified applicant for the position. Think about giving examples of business development tasks you performed in a previous position. If you work with a professional coach, mention how you were able to use your networking skills to connect with the coach and develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

In an Interview

Potential employers can see your networking skills in action during job interviews. Try to keep eye contact during face-to-face interviews and ask probing questions to demonstrate your skill set. Additionally, pay attention to every question and take your time to consider your responses. An interview is an opportunity to demonstrate your skill if you have knowledge of creating and maintaining client relationships.

At Workplace

Showcase your networking skills while at work by paying close attention to what your colleagues and manager have to say and have a positive attitude at all times. Additionally, make an effort to establish professional connections with other staff members and always demonstrate positivity and empathy. Pay close attention to your body language if you want to develop a long-lasting relationship.

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