Network Your Way to Success

Positive personal impact is one of the keys to personal and professional success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success.  If you want to create positive personal impact, you need to do three things.  First, create and nurture your personal brand.  Second, be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.  Third, know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.

People who create positive personal impact are good at networking.  They know how to engage others quickly and leave a positive, lasting impression.   Dressing well and paying attention to your appearance is a great start.  However, great networkers know that looking good is only one piece of the puzzle.  Here are some of my best common sense tips on how to create positive personal impact through networking.

Here are my four best ideas on creating positive personal impact when networking…

Stay focused on the person with whom you are in a conversation.  Many people let their eyes wander – especially at networking events.  When you do this, you are sending a message to the person with whom you are speaking that he or she is less important than someone else you might spot in the crowd.  It’s not only polite, it’s good business sense to focus on the person in front of you.  Exchange business cards before you move on to speak with someone else.

Listen and respond appropriately to people you meet.  Maintain eye contact.  Ask questions if you don’t understand what they say.  Paraphrase what they say to make sure you understand.  Above all, respond appropriately – don’t take the conversation in a new direction until the topic under discussion has been exhausted.

Build relationships with people you meet by being helpful.  Take the initiative.  Give them leads that may help them.  Last week, Helen Whelan CEO of SuccessTelevision.com sent me an email letting me know about a pr opportunity.  I thanked Helen and followed up on the opportunity.  I also sent it to two people I know who may be better suited than me.  Why?  Because I wanted to strengthen my relationships with them – and what better way to build strong relationships that by giving something of value to other people.

Learn from as many people as you can.  Everybody has something to offer.  With some people you have dig a little more deeply than with others.  Regardless, treat every conversation as a learning opportunity.  The more you listen, the more you’ll learn. 

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people create positive personal impact.  Networking is a great way to create a powerful lasting impression for yourself.  You will create positive personal impact in networking situations if you: 1) stay focused on the person with whom you are engaged in conversation; 2) listen and respond appropriately; 3) build relationships by being helpful; and 4) learn from as many people as you can.

That’s my take on using networking to create positive personal impact.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.

Bud

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