As a leader, when we continue to hone our leadership skills and abilities, we inevitably will be networking with many other people from all walks of life.
It is in this learning realm where we really learn the secrets to long-lasting leadership power and success. It all can be found in relationships.
And if we are emotionally and socially intelligent in our leadership relationships, this will be our primary road map to success.
But if we are remiss in these areas, we will certainly run into constant dead-ends and frustrating journeys that lead to bitterness and divide.
To avoid frustrating journeys that lead nowhere and to be sure that we are ready for success, we need to understand that it is important to know the science of social intelligence to get the full appreciation of good relationships.
Becoming Emotionally and Socially Intelligent
So let’s start here first. In Daniel Goleman’s book Social Intelligence, he explains that good relationships cultivate us and support our health. Conversely, toxic relationships are like the flu; they make us sick.
“The emotional radar we emit is a direct reflection of our success and happiness in all our affairs from on the job to friends and family.”
Our emotions are contagious; we can make each other feel a little or a lot better or a little or a lot worse.
“Our emotions emit an afterglow that stays with us long after the direct encounter ends. The afterglow has the ability to transform our inner gains and losses.”
As we participate in this interpersonal economy, the end result is a transfer of feelings. Many variations can occur, but it all boils down to our ability to change another person’s mood and they ours, hopefully for the best, and this is our goal in networking. A great book I found on this topic is called Power Networking
“We instantly become more attentive to the faces of the people around us, searching for smiles or frowns that give us a better sense of how to interpret signs of danger or that might signal someone’s intentions.”
Getting a Clue
Are You Picking Up The Vibe?
Social awareness runs on the continuum from instantaneously sensing another’s feelings to understanding feelings & thoughts of another.
As leaders and networkers, we can make a special connection with others by being:
- A great listener
- Have a sense of humor
- Show empathy
- Be decisive
- Take responsibility
- Be humble
- Share authority
Understanding the Philosophy
The philosophy behind power networking is the spirit of giving and sharing. It’s about who we are and what we have to offer. It’s about our personal power, our inner strength. It’s an attitude, awareness that we are part of the bigger picture.
“The whole concept behind networking is to give power away.”
When we concentrate on supporting other people in our network, we receive an abundance of ideas, support, and referrals.
The most effective type of networking requires patience, persistence, and an attitude to nurture the relationship while it grows. The power of networking comes from people and the development of strong, solid relationships. As your network becomes strong you will find that more and more people offer support long before you ever get around to asking.
To gain the most from each contact follow-up promptly on leads and follow through on any promises you make to provide literature, a cup of coffee, or a brief meeting.
Getting Clear and Concise
Breaking Through the Small Talk
You can break through the small talk with a great introduction that is clear, concise, and personable. Doing this generates interest from other people about you.
Let me give you an example:
“Hello, my name is Deb Olejownik, nonprofit consultant. Our company consults nonprofit organizations by teaching and guiding organizations to their next level. We map your future by navigating you through change and guiding you to solutions!”
Your introduction helps break through the small talk and generate interest.
The No-No’s of Networking
To eliminate the roadblocks to success:
- Beware of the networking mongrel –
- Putting friends, neighbors, or associates on the spot
- Expecting something in return. – when you expect something in return it means there is no giving, no contributing to, and no supporting others while YOU keep score.
You are the hub of your network; know your own power as a networker. Know the important values and principles in your life. When you know what’s important to you, it propels you to action.
How to effectively utilize networking to achieve objectives:
Know at least 5 major accomplishments of your life of which you are proud. If you don’t let others know about your accomplishments, how will they know to call on you for support? What are your 5 major accomplishments?
When is it appropriate to call on a networking contact for a favor (someone you have met briefly through business)?
Call on a contact when you have a specific need. The more specific you can be the easier it is for people to respond. Be empowering not demanding or manipulative; be clear and not vague or overly broad; be straight forward, and hesitant.
One final thought:
60% of the general population consider themselves to be shy. Power Networking offers credible information to help one overcome shyness. How are you seen by other networkers? Take the Power Networking Self Assessment Test.
What I’ve learned:
Networking is like dancing, sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow, it’s a continual process. Sharing your vision with others, gives you the unique opportunity to help others enhance their vision. You can apply/change your style to many different types of situations and still get the same benefits.
What challenges if any do you face with networking? Can you see yourself using the strategies of Power Networking? Will you encourage others to use Power Networking? I would love to hear your comments!
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