How to Improve Your Networking Skills

Networking has amazing benefits─it can land you your dream job, help you meet you a venture capital or even help you to connect with your better half. A recent survey revealed that almost 85% of the jobs were filled via networking.

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We know that networking takes time and it’s not one of your top agenda when you think of getting a job. And for this reason people restrict themselves a little bit in taking their first step to build networking skills.

So instead people gravitate onto developing technical skills to build their reputation. And expect things to fall into place. I won’t say that you cannot be good working like that but you will also miss a lot of opportunities down the road.

Instead do this ─ think of it as a relationship investment. With this in mind we can focus on taking the mystery out of it and re-think our way to make it work for us. So here are few ways to improve your networking skills -

Don’t Do it Only When You Need It

Networking is a continuous process of building relationships. So, if you start early you will save yourself from the feeling of anxiously putting yourself up to somebody in that hour of need. It is important because this feeling is hard to go away and prevents you to utilize the benefits of networking.

But if you started early, you were already there when you never wanted anything. So in the defining moment the other person won’t feel that you are only making a contact because you need something in return.

Exchange Value & Not Just Numbers

A friend of mine had a habit of collecting business cards. What he forgot was that networking isn’t solely focused on creating an invisible wire of connection─whether it be by exchanging phone numbers, accepting friend requests, or handing down business cards. That’s the first step.

The next step is to exchange value by defining your intentions. You can do that by offering for help first and then to ask for a favour later.

You can ask questions like: What is one challenge that you are facing right now?? Initially you may not have a solution but you may know someone who has. And that’s how you make a new relationship.

Understand Psychology

Have a wee bit understanding of other people’s emotions and personalities. This will help you know the difference between someone being busy and someone being unfriendly. It will also help you know how often you can contact people. Some people will be open to conversation and some can be very uncommunicative.

In that situation, be wary of the phrase, “At times even the most ill-tempered of person will be appreciative of genuine help.”

To help you get started with understanding psychology you can read articles on emotional intelligence and personality psychology. This way you will have a better understanding of what people mean when they say something.

Lastly, everything will depend on your own desire to increase your network. Many people rely solely on networking to run their businesses and others rely on technical skill only. But everyone needs to network at some point or the other. Remember that sometimes even when you have a good idea you may fail because you didn’t build your network. So it’s better to develop your networking skill early in life.

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About Author:

Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder of ProofHub— a leading project management and collaboration software. A passionate leader, Sandeep is always on the lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams and companies. He is also a featured writer on LinkedIn and a contributing author at YourStory. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Also follow our company page @ProofHub to get the recent updates about our tool, published articles, motivational quotes & presentations.

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Originally published at LinkedIn.com