Have you ever noticed that some people always seem to land on their feet? They always have other people looking out for them and helping them out. The more jaded among us attribute their successes to “the old-boy’s clubs” and “politics.” Perhaps. But these terms are most often just cynical, sour-grapes labels to describe the success of people who understand the principles and power of networking.
Networking is the single most powerful personal and professional development skill we can nurture. It’s a truism that people prefer to deal with people they like, and want to help people they like. It only makes sense, therefore, that the more people you get to know, the better off you’ll be. (Assuming, of course, you’re a likeable person). It’s a lot of work, but the ultimate payoff is tremendous.
Here are three absolute must-do’s of networking:
Be on constant lookout for opportunities to help the people around you. Make their needs a priority, and don’t expect quid pro quo. Be there for people because it’s the right thing to do, not because you expect a payback.
Okay, so you’ve heard this a million times. Well, here it is once again. But don’t just be willing to listen, be eager to listen. Be interested. Care.
Be someone people can turn to to cheer them up when things are going sideways. The greatest enemies of misery are hope and laughter. People will always appreciate the effort.