What Benefit is Networking?
Many people find networking uncomfortable. This has a lot to do with their confidence and ability to make conversation with strangers especially when they feel under pressure to create new business and produce sales. But networking is not about sales, it is about relationships, and relationships start from conversations.
The ability to network effectively is a learned skill. Just as you learn to climb a fence or ride a bike, you need to learn how to make and participate in conversations. Whether you are with people you think you know well, people you’ve met a few times, or find yourself face-to-face with strangers. A conversation is how you make spending time together worthwhile. It is how you find out about each other’s interests and needs, learn from each other, and discover mutual connections and possibilities. So many opportunities come out of unexpected conversations; relationships develop, andy our confidence, capacity, network, and business prospects expand.
Meaningful conversations, in any situation, are valuable. You might be thinking, why bother with all these conversations and relationships? Well, as social beings connection is a core need and through conversation you have the opportunity to interact and build a variety of networks that support you. Networking is not isolated to business interactions or events. You may not realise it, but you network every single day. Even in the most ordinary daily interactions, you have conversations, make connections, and meet a range of people who may need help or might be able to help you.Time is never wasted when you have deeper conversations and are curious about others.
YTM has helped many people who describe themselves as ‘introverted’ or ‘networking averse’ learn how to network effectively by making it easy for everyone attending YTM events to participate in effective conversations.
The truth is practice really does help with anything you want to learn.
Kerryn Powell, founder of YTM tells us in her book “ I am not saying it is easy, in fact anything worth doing is difficult at first, but I know it can be done. When I ran my first YTM events, I was nervous and wondered if I could translate my ideas into a working reality, but I am testament to the value of reaching out and stretching yourself. Making conversation and building confidence is no different. The first step has become Nike’s catchcry, “Just do it”. Step out of your comfort zone, take some risks, face into new situations and practice your skills. Each time you do it you will get better and more comfortable and confident. Trust me, I know—the more we practice the stronger and more curious we become.”
(this is an extract from Kerryn’s book- Two Ears, One Mouth and a Big Heart which is available for purchase and will help you develop your skills and understand how when we interact with others our relationships benefit and create success and fulfillment)