Those that know me know that I enjoy connecting with others whether it is over coffee, a meal, or a chance meeting. I’ve been blessed to have had some quality networking meetings the past few weeks. In reflecting back on the people and these meetings, I’ve learned a few things:
- People are generous with their time. That is so true of my community. I know the other person is sharing valuable time with me, so I invest some time before meeting preparing. I write out questions that I have for this person so I can get to know them better and learn about their journey thus far. I want to honor their time commitment with me by making the most of our time.
- People have struggles just as I do. I have heard stories of jobs not going well and stories of heartache when someone has been fired. Listening and empathizing is a way to connect and encourage others. And they can do this for you, too.
- People are passionate. I love seeing and hearing how the other person has found their niche and are running hard in that direction. I love hearing how they are impacting their world. I love hearing what they have learned along the way.
- People share resources. I have learned that there can be a fair exchange of ideas and further connections that will benefit us both. I have heard about new books to explore, places to visit, and people to meet.
If you have yet to try something like this, give it a try. Who can you reach out to?
- A senior manager at your workplace
- An admired community leader
- A business owner in your city
When you land the appointment and have the meeting, end by asking if they could connect you to someone who you can continue this networking time with. I don’t believe I’ve ever had anyone refuse to do this.
Give this a try and see what you’ll learn from networking. Meet someone new. Learn something new.