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Being Humble during your Networking

June 12, 2010

   If you take away nothing more than having fun while you network, then this article is a success.  Speaking for me, it’s hard for some of us to be humble while we network.  Some of us would love to get on the Public Announce system, and announce to the world that, “Hey, I’m available, come hire me!”  🙂  Well, with that approach, you may as well put a bullhorn to a sleeping person’s ear, and shout.  Don’t do it – you will definitely get the “look.”  😦  (That’s a bad thing!)

Before you start any race, you’d like to know about the goal you’re trying to accomplish, right?  Is it 100 yard dash, or perhaps a marathon?  You need to know the race, so you can apply the right technique to get the best results.

Well, networking is no different.  You need to Begin with the End in Mind, or What are you Trying to Accomplish?   [tweetmeme source=”@Aidan_Foley” only_single=false]

When starting out, you need to Understand the other person.  Be curious, ask questions, listen, and gain their trust by helping them with ideas.  Think of stuff they may have overlooked.  Offer some of your connections to assist with their efforts.

After that, try to be them for a few moments, and offer suggestions on what may help them.  If in doubt, just ask them, “How can I best help you?”  Try to put yourself in their shoes, and come up with a game plan that you would employ.  Try to form a team of the 2 of you to come up with solutions that will benefit the other.  And, here’s the clincher, in helping them, you are helping yourself.  You have put someone else’s needs before yours.  Once that feeling of helpfulness is appreciated, folks typically will help you as well … without question.

At this point, you have offered help, now you can start to focus on you.  A simple, “Do you know of anyone who could help me?” might be a good question to start with.  If they don’t have any ideas, don’t walk away.  Thank them for their time, and continue with the conversation; you never know where it may lead.  In a week or so, they may simply run across a posting, a recruiter, or perhaps hear of an opportunity, and think of you.  That’s when your Network starts Working for you.  Don’t be discouraged though if it just dries up, and goes nowhere.  In any event, stay the course, keep networking, accomplish the mission, and remember to have fun along the way.

Who have you networked with today?

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