Some people seem to be naturally great connectors and networkers. For others that skill doesn’t come quite as easily. The truth is that any business owner who wants to build a successful business, eventually has to master the art of collaboration. One can only get so far by being independent. As your company grows we more and more enter the realm of interdependence. We do business with other people, we collaborate on opportunities and we collaborate in solving problems. So how does one get started in building out a network of great people?
After talking to many business owners there have been a few characteristics that I believe set a solid foundation to succeeding a building a great network.
Characteristic 1: Be An Active Listener
When you embody the art of active listening, you lay the groundwork for transformative networking experiences. This approach is in line with the wisdom of renowned author and marketing guru Seth Godin, who champions the power of truly hearing others. Godin emphasizes the importance of being present and attentive in our interactions, allowing us to grasp the nuances and desires of those we connect with.
By adopting Godin's perspective, we recognize that effective networking goes beyond surface-level conversations. It requires genuine curiosity and an eagerness to understand the needs, challenges, and aspirations of others. When we truly listen, we create a safe space for individuals to share their stories, dreams, and insights. This fosters a sense of trust and connection, forming the foundation for fruitful networking relationships.
In Godin's teachings, he often emphasizes the significance of empathy and understanding in building strong connections. Active listening aligns perfectly with this principle, as it enables us to empathize with others on a deeper level. By empathizing, we gain insight into their perspectives, motivations, and goals, which allows us to provide meaningful support and guidance.
When we approach networking through the lens of Seth Godin's teachings, we understand that active listening is not simply a technique but an essential mindset. It involves cultivating a genuine curiosity about others, engaging in deep and meaningful conversations, and creating an atmosphere where individuals feel valued and heard. By incorporating these principles into our networking endeavors, we can build authentic relationships that transcend transactional interactions, leading to long-lasting partnerships and mutual growth.
Characteristic 2: Have A Positive Attitude
I've come to learn from my experiences and the teachings of Tony Robbins that a positive attitude is an incredible asset. When you radiate positivity and approach every interaction with enthusiasm and optimism, it becomes contagious. People can sense your positive energy and are naturally drawn to it. They want to associate and cooperate with someone who exudes positivity. By cultivating a positive mindset and embracing the power of a can-do attitude, you'll witness firsthand how others are naturally attracted to you. This magnetic presence you create will not only strengthen your network but also pave the way for an abundance of referrals to come your way.
Characteristic 3: Be A Team Player
Scott Gerber, a renowned networking expert, emphasizes the importance of adopting a collaborative attitude in the realm of networking. It's not solely about personal gain, but rather about helping others succeed. By embodying this mindset, individuals can build trust and establish strong relationships. Be willing to offer assistance, whether through sharing helpful resources, making introductions, or providing support in overcoming challenges. Networkers set themselves apart as trusted and valued connections. Scott Gerber's philosophy highlights the significance of collaboration in networking, creating a supportive community where everyone can thrive together.
Characteristic 4: Be Trustworthy
Trust is an essential pillar of successful networking. It serves as the foundation on which strong relationships are built. When you consistently demonstrate trustworthiness, you inspire confidence in your referral partners and establish yourself as a reliable and dependable professional. Remember, when you refer someone, you are putting your own reputation on the line. By earning the trust of others through your actions, integrity, and follow-through, you create a solid network where trust is reciprocated. This fosters a mutually beneficial environment where collaboration and referrals flourish, leading to long-term success and growth.
Characteristic 5: Be Approachable
Effective networking begins with cultivating an approachable demeanor. While words and actions may fade from memory, the way you make others feel will leave a lasting impression. Foster an inviting and welcoming presence that puts people at ease and encourages them to engage with you. Approachability creates a conducive environment for meaningful connections to form and paves the way for fruitful networking interactions. By embodying an approachable attitude, you open doors to new opportunities and forge genuine relationships that contribute to your networking success.
Characteristic 6: Be Authentic
Authenticity serves as the bedrock of successful networking endeavors. When you approach interactions with genuine interest in others and engage in sincere conversations, you leave a lasting impression. Cultivate a sense of curiosity about the people you meet, actively listen to their stories, and demonstrate empathy. By being authentic in your interactions, you create a sense of trust and openness that forms the foundation for fruitful networking relationships. Remember, people value sincerity, and it is through authentic connections that you can forge meaningful partnerships and unlock new opportunities in your networking journey.
Characteristic 7: Embrace the Follow-up
In the realm of networking, opportunities are abundant but only hold value when they are acted upon. That's why consistent and timely follow-up with your contacts is crucial. Whether it's sharing relevant information, facilitating introductions to valuable connections, or providing qualified business referrals, your commitment to follow-up demonstrates reliability and genuine interest. It reinforces the trust and confidence that others have in you as a networker. Remember, the fortune lies in the follow-up—it is the bridge that transforms potential into tangible results. By prioritizing follow-up actions, you position yourself for networking success and ensure that valuable opportunities are not left untapped.
Characteristic 8: Connect Deeply
When you demonstrate empathy in your interactions, you create a safe and welcoming environment that encourages open and honest communication. Empathy plays a crucial role in building strong and meaningful relationships. By actively listening, understanding, and sharing the feelings of others, you connect on a deeper level, establishing a genuine bond that withstands the test of time. When you approach networking with empathy, you demonstrate your genuine interest in others' experiences and perspectives, creating a solid foundation for long-lasting connections and collaborative opportunities. Remember, empathy is a powerful tool that sets you apart as a trusted and empathetic networker.
Characteristic 9: Strategic Collaborator
Networking in Denver's dynamic and competitive business landscape goes beyond traditional connections. It demands a strategic approach that involves forging collaborative partnerships with complementary businesses and professionals. By recognizing the value of aligning with like-minded individuals, you can leverage each other's strengths, expertise, and networks to create a powerful synergy. Strategic collaboration opens doors to new opportunities, expands your reach, and drives exponential growth in your network. Embrace the art of strategic collaboration in Denver and witness firsthand the transformative impact it can have on your networking endeavors. Together, you can achieve greater success and make a lasting impact in the vibrant Denver business community.
Characteristic 10: Continuously Learn
Embrace a Growth Mindset: Networking is not a one-time activity; it's a continuous process of growth and learning. When you embrace a growth mindset, you open yourself up to new possibilities, insights, and opportunities. Instead of fearing challenges or setbacks, you view them as opportunities for personal and professional development. By seeking out new knowledge, attending industry events, and staying informed about the latest trends and developments, you position yourself as a valuable resource within your network. Embrace the mindset of a lifelong learner, and your network will thrive as you bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table.
Remember, networking is not just about making connections; it's about building meaningful relationships based on trust, support, and mutual benefit. By applying these characteristics in your networking efforts, you will not only strengthen your own network but also contribute to the growth and success of the Denver Metro Area's business community.
So, let's go out there and network with purpose, passion, and a commitment to excellence. Together, we can create a thriving network that drives success for all.