How To Learn To Remove The Negative Connotations Around Networking By Iti Malken

Despite the obvious benefits of creating a strong network both personally and professionally, the idea of networking has over time begun to carry negative connotations. Those connotations can result in networking feeling like a sales strategy and because of this many people don’t like doing it. 

Networking is crucial because it brings more opportunities to your life. After all, your network is your net worth. Also, the synergy of people is adding value, the energy levels are much higher in a group of people working together for a mutual goal. We all thrive in positive and encouraging environments, we build connections and generate more ideas, and all this can turn into amazing projects, startups or community gatherings. 

A great example of when networking can truly support you is if you are relocating to a new city or country. If you make it a priority and join for example a private members club, you can find yourself with an amazing group of people in no time. These connections can then lead to business deals, opportunities and dinner invites. So be creative when networking, there are so many people with a wide variety of interests out there, you just need to find your people.

If you find yourself struggling with confidence when you are at an event, then focus on what you can do internally to make this easier. Affirmations and journaling can help to boost yourself presence, so you feel grounded and in yourself. Make sure to do this daily, our brains love repetition. Over time you will start to see yourself moving with a newfound confidence and every new day will anchor in a new level of self-trust. If you believe yourself that you already are an amazing networker, then others will believe you as well! Networking raises your confidence levels and remember that even if you are an introvert, you can still be a successful networker.

Reframing how you see networking is the starting point to build your community in a way that feels easy. Networking is essentially relationship building whether that is online or in real life at an event. When you make this subtle mindset shift and focus on nurturing your relationships and contacts it will feel more natural. Iti explains…

The first question to ask yourself here is: Are the people you communicate with daily aligned with your goals. Bad habits tend to stick, so if your current network is not elevating and enhancing your life, maybe it is time to start networking in a new group?

Also, first impressions matter. Look presentable and be open in your energy and appearance. Open energy and posture are crucial in successful networking and communication in general.

Put yourself in rooms where the audacity to be a star is praised. We are not trying to play small. Make bold moves and show up even if you do not feel like it.

Do research prior to an event you plan to attend. Identify people you would love to connect with a prepare some conversation starters based on what you already know about an individual and why you would love to chat with. 

Set networking goals. Like everything else in life, even networking needs goals. If you do not set goals, you are handed the crumbs. If you are just starting, a goal can be as simple as showing up to a networking event in your city. And make sure to expand these goals often. Just start, take baby steps and stay focused!

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