Aristotle said, ‘Man is a social animal’. Social interactions happen all the time, but not everyone knows how to convert them into meaningful relationships. There is a human need behind every relationship. How well you nurture relationships may eventually translate into a trusted network. help and a chance to offer assistance.
According to networking experts, a strong professional network gives people access to information, advice, and critical thinking along with other advantages. Over the long run, this provides a cutting edge over others in business and helps them face challenges more effectively.
Focus on the Contacts You Already Have
It’s good to start by categorizing your contacts such as influential connectors, potential customers, current clients, and colleagues. This not only helps keep your contacts organized, but you may even find people you may not have kept in touch with who you would like to rebuild a relationship.
Find the WHY
When building a relationship, you may have common interests. But as your network grows, it becomes more of a responsibility to stay connected for a purpose. Forming a charitable trust, a sports club, or even a business entity could be one of many purposes. Defining your purpose in a relationship can be a challenge but, it goes a long way in nurturing and maintaining your network.
Use Social Media Strategically
In the tech era, building connections is so much easier with social media. Connections can be made with the click of a button, and friendships can be started with a thoughtful comment. Connect with people you may not have interacted with in person, and remember to engage! Repost content through your LinkedIn account or contribute to the discussion on Twitter. This way, you can use social media to stay connected and build social capital.
While making all efforts to grow your professional network, it’s important to reach out to your contacts without expecting anything in return. A genuine approach to help your contacts will help you discover how you can add value to the relationship. In the long run, you and your connections benefit from the relationship both personally and professionally.
Show You Care
Doesn’t it feel great when someone remembers your interests or small details about you? It works both ways! Sometimes articles, books, news, information, or an event attended may prompt you to think about a particular person in your network. Demonstrate the ‘care factor’ by sharing. It shows how much you know about the person’s interests, and strengthens your bond organically.
Share Information about Yourself
Remember, communication is a two-way street. Sharing both the good news, and sometimes the not-so-good news builds trust and helps your network feel they really know you. This will prompt the exchange of information leading to an even deeper relationship.
Audit your professional network to ensure your connections stay relevant. Over time, you will bring people in and out of your network. Your old network will meet new individuals, and this can open connections between them.
Consistently auditing your network and staying connected with the right people will help you focus on the relationships you really want to nurture, and help build a network you can rely on.