When I speak to audiences about the power of networking, I challenge participants to consider which habits are working for – and against – them. Equip yourself with knowledge to change unproductive patterns to help you plan, connect and grow your professional network. If poor habits prevent optimal networking success, how can you overcome negative patterns and unleash your potential?
I always liked the way author Bill Hogan said it, “What’s the best way to eat an elephant – One bite at a time.” To form a new habit and make the most of your professional connections, take small steps each day. Success often comes when you repeat small actions that bring you closer to your objectives. Don’t have time to reach out to ALL the connections you met at a recent corporate event? Send a few follow up emails each day. To unleash your potential, review 3 bad networking habits and take a step each day to replace them with productive solutions.
Unleash Your Potential | Break 3 Networking “Bad Habits”
Procrastination – Don’t put off follow up activities with current or new network connections.
Break bad habits by replacing them with healthy ones. After connecting with a new contact, jot down quick notes (on the back of their business card) to jog your memory for the next discussion or to create follow up questions. Divide your contacts list into three simple categories (priority A,B, and C) and send out a few follow up notes each day.
Professional networking without a “game plan”.
Create a routine and follow small steps to make big changes. Set boundaries with your time (15 minutes each day to stay in touch with your network can make a big difference) and take steps forward each day to advance your objective. Sometimes you won’t be able to stick to your routine so if you fall off from your plan, don’t skip a beat, pick up where you left off and start again the next day.
Pre-judging the outcome of a new connection (before you’ve even taken the first steps to follow up).
Challenge yourself to consider the possibilities of where each new business relationship might take you (and the other party’s benefit in knowing you). Avoid self-sabotage by second guessing whether this network contact will be worth your time or not. You never know until you try. Start small by thinking of ways you can assist this new contact by being a contribution. Ask open ended questions such as “who would be a good prospect for you” then consider how you could offer recommendations to help this new contact.
For more information and tips from Kari Mirabal, The Connection Coach, visit www.karimirabal.com for more insights to lead you to People, Opportunity and Profit!