It seems like the right approach in networking: Figure out what the person you’re connecting with wants to hear, and then work to impress them. That is true, but it carries a risk in it. You can over do it, which means that people don’t believe you.
When people don’t believe in you, that defines their perception of your future activities. So, when you use tactics like self-promotion and ingratiation remember that they can backfire. Research shows there are couple of reasons why this happens. Anticipating what will impress the other person will increase your anxiety. The second and most important factor is that the other person subconsciously feels you are inauthentic. When we don’t know, what the other person stands for, we are having all kind of warning and protection shields on. Yes, you need to network, you need to show interest in the other person and you need to be authentic. Or fail and lose the game!
Every single one of us is happy when someone shows interest in us. So open up the connection with showing interest in the other person. Don’t try to please them, but find a common ground to walk in. If you try to cater to other’s preferences too much, you might make them feel good, but they will not remember you! Open questions is the starting point. What it is, that you are interested in, and highlight. Talk about topics that interest you through open questions.. Ask about the subjects genuinely curious to learn / discuss about. Listen carefully to the answer and use that as the seed for you next question.
One very good way of sharing your thoughts and finding a common approach is converting your thought’s in to open question. For being able to use open questions, you need to do your homework. You need to know more about the society, the building and/or the business. That way you can make truly relevant and good open questions. Don’t focus on projecting a particular image. Feeling at ease delivers message of a true personality and that takes you a long way toward leaving a good impression. You will feel at ease, as you are prepared and have good understanding of the questions to use.
Networking is the 21st century skill. A must as well for the utmost introverts as for the extroverts. The keys to successful networking are pretty simple. 1. remember the old rule, listen twice as much as you talk. 2. to get value you need to give value 3. your value comes from you uniqueness 4. talk in assertive manner. With those basic rules you go far and you get more. And, even for those introverts who are not really happy in social gatherings, being authentic themselves and using open questions is much easier and pleasant!
Networking in the digital world is much more demanding. At the same time, as it is easy to get followers and connections, converting those to real assets is more difficult. We don’t get all the information of the other person as we do in live situations. In social media world your authenticity is much more important. That gives you the network which gives you benefits and business. You need to have audience, there is no doubt about that. But that must be audience, which is interested in you. Because only interested audience will tick and click, taking you to the awareness of new good quality audience!
What it means to be authentic? Can people be anything but authentic? Actually very many of us are not authentic. We don’t truly know that, because we are the outcome of other people telling us, what we should be alike. They have been told in the past, what to do in order to “blend in” the society. They carry on the lesson to you. Trying to be a copy of someone else, is taking a lot of energy and most people spot it pretty fast. Nobody can please everybody. Some people truly connect with only about 15 % of the population. That one in six is still a huge market.
To know who you truly are, to find you diamond of authenticity, take a piece of paper and work through the following questions: A) what it is that you are truly good at (not your degree, look for something more profound, for me this is finding new solutions to help people to move forward), B) what is your true interest areas, things which get your total attention and energize you (my energy sources are nature learning) and C) what are your personality’s strengths (I like to be prepared, I have high stress tolerance and want to help people)? Sharing and connecting using those takes you apart from the rest! You will be remembered and people will see your value.
I learned about my personality a lot through completing an assessment. The one that gave me really valuable insight to my professional personality was Emotions and Behaviors at Work, #EBW, assessment and feedback. Use a scientifically strong assessment to learn more about who and what you really are. That way you can connect with authenticity, feel better and succeed more easily.
Your partner in making change happen, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence advisor