The month of January is networking month here at the R&B Management Group. Our firm will look at the practice of networking in different phases and how it will impact your business and career. First, we’re looking at personal networking that occurs only in face to face settings.
We will define personal networking as the practice of getting to know people in a face to face setting in hopes that ideals, goals and tactics can be brought together in an effort to create future opportunities. Personal networking occurs in a number of different ways and in many different locations.
For example, happy hours are a popular option for making new business connections. In fact, many professional groups hosts happy hours with the intention of welcoming new members and introducing them to those currently involved. The recreational atmosphere is one of the best locations to make those connections in a lighthearted setting.
However, there are some who may not have the “abilities” to make those connections when given the opportunity. In a day where email, social media outlets and texting seem to be the number one way that people want to talk to each other; doing so face to face has become uncomfortable for many. Whether it is shyness or just a lack of knowing how to strike up a conversation; it seems as if more people are unwilling to talk to others when looking them directly in the eyes. That inability to do so in such a laid back setting would have drastic implications in a professional setting where they will surely cross over.
Being in a new setting gives you an opportunity to further strengthen your network. Use these tips to help you build the foundation of having a strong personal network.
Introductions: if you attend an event with a friend be sure to be introduced to anyone that seems of interest. Use the fact that your accomplice knows important people to also be introduced to those “in the know.” Being in the same location already shows that you have similar interests which is a base to use to strike up a new friendship. That new friendship may build into something more for both of the parties involved.
Meetup Groups: With resources such as Meetup.com it is very easy to place yourself in a relaxed setting of people with similar interests. While most seem to use these outlets for social purposes; they can also be used to build professional relationships. Spending a few minutes to research and attend the type of groups that catch your eye can lead to developing a stronger personal network.
Networking in face to face settings may have fallen off of the popular wagon, but it stills holds a vital place in both social and professional development. Take the time to get to know someone face to face instead of behind a technological screen. No matter what, business will always be completed by some form of personal interaction and success will go to those that can perform when needed.