At one time a powerful business person was defined by his or her ability to acquire external things – fancy titles and corner offices, large staffs and fat expense accounts. But the rules have changed. Today, powerful has been replaced by influential. Influential people are defined by their ability to make things happen and get things done. How do they do this? They build solid relationship networks based on four key elements. First of all, they strategically seek out people and look for ways to establish an introduction. What may look like a coincidental meeting to the rest of the world is part of an intentional effort of navigating through the networking process, which is to converse, connect, collaborate and create.
Each of these elements requires relationships skills. For example, to begin to converse with someone, you need to be able to start a conversation by asking questions that invite information and disclosure.
Then, as the person is providing this information, you look for opportunities to connect by identifying common ground. Common ground consists of ways in which you can relate. It could be creating a linkage to another person you both know, or a hobby you share, or a place you both vacationed, or a dilemma or challenge you both have experienced. Next, you seek opportunities to collaborate. An example could be by informing the person about a great book and how it helped you with a similar issue.
If you come from a place of scarcity, that is exactly what you will attract.
Savvy networkers will follow up and follow through by sending their copy or buying the person her own book. Finally, this relationship in time – some sooner; some later, and some never – will lend itself to the opportunity to create. This might occur when you “create” yet a new relationship by putting this person and someone else in contact with each other. In this case, your role is to initiate the conversation and create the connection. Once this is established, two savvy businesswomen will take your lead from that point on. The end result? You will have woven the web of connections known as “a thriving network.”
Relationship networkers know that it is by connecting the right people with the right challenges and opportunities that companies, careers and lives are built and made better.
– Excerpt from “Relationship Networking: The Art of Turning Contacts Into Connections”
Sandra is the Founder and CEO of eWomenNetwork, and is also a bestselling author of five books, including Succeeding Through Doubt, Fear & Crisis. This book rose to #1 status in five categories at Amazon.com upon its debut in July, 2014. She has also been featured in Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, which features some of the top entrepreneurs in North America. In 2008, Sandra produced an inspiring movie about women overcoming great odds to achieve remarkable things called The Glow Project. The movie was named “One of the most inspiring movies ever created for women” by the Orlando Film Festival.
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