Monday, March 30, 2009

Learning To Network

Networking is an important part of any job. Getting fresh ideas and perspectives can enhance the way you work and what you are able to contribute to your organization. While it is imperative that you make contacts, it isn't necessary that you be the life of the party to do so.

With this in mind, take note of these tips for making your networking a success.

  • Make an effort to remember names. Keep in mind that a person's name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language to them. People naturally feel friendly toward you if you've made the effort to remember this one important fact about them. And, because you took the effort, they'll likely feel you're already a friend. It's really fairly easy to remember people's names, and it may be the most important career skill you can learn. We go into detail on this strategy in the Dale Carnegie Course, but the key is to associate the person with something you can easily picture so you can recall this image when you are trying to think of their name.
  • Create conversations and be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves, because people love to speak about their lives. All you have to do is ask a few leading questions and most people will keep the conversation going with only a few comments from you leading them to further details. Get people talking and before you know it, you'll have plenty of fresh contacts lined up.
  • Become genuinely interested in other people. Being a good listener is important, but the next step to keeping up the relationship is to really care about these people. Remember things about their personal lives or their jobs and sincerely show you care. For example, I once had a co-worker whose daughter had a serious illness. At least once a week I stopped by and asked how her daughter was doing. It doesn't take much of your time to make people feel as though you truly care about them, but it will forge lasting relationships that will help you throughout your career.
These are some truly easy ways, which can enhance your relationships with people both in your personal and professional life. Don't worry that you are not the one doing all the talking. In most cases, it is best to listen and then share to form a real bond.

Contributed by Dale Carnegie Training.

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