Networking Mistakes You Can Avoid

It’s easy to get so swept up in the tides of social media and connection building or the urgency of a job search that you forget the key to successful networking: mutual generosity for mutual success. Recently Forbes published  Four Networking Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making that will help keep you on track.

Here’s the list:

  1. Don’t talk about yourself all the time, instead take some interest. There’s a reason we have two ears and only one mouth. By being curious about others, you show that you see their value and can build a sustainable relationship.
  2. Instead of expecting a job, add some value. The value train goes both ways. “If you’re looking for a job, don’t ask for it—work for it. Do some research into what your contact does both in and out of work and find ways that you can contribute your time or support.”
  3. Always say thank you. Pretty self-explanatory. Snail mail thank-you cards are a wonderfully thoughtful touch in today’s online world. Send them out as soon as possible.
  4. Stay accountable and always follow up. Stay true to your word to confirm the value of your brand.

What would you add? Are there some common networking mistakes you’d add to the list?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

The Greenlight Highlight: How A Young Professional Practices Relationship Mastery To Serve and Succeed

Maxwell Lyons
Sydney, Australia (as of three weeks ago)
Greenlight Member Since: July 2010

Elevator Pitch: “I love being stretched and attempting to play above my current capacity. Born and raised in a small town in Idaho, I owe so much of the success I’ve had in life to the relationships I’ve developed.”

What experience in your past was the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success? 

I grew up valuing friendships, but hated “networking”. I viewed it as pretending to be something and someone you are not, and that never sat well with me. After I read Never Eat Alone, it flipped what I thought about networking on its head and showed me that my friends and my business contacts could be one in the same. That’s the moment it clicked for me that relationships can be powerful, as well as fun, in the professional world.

What’s the coolest things you’re working on at home or at work right now? Continue reading

Heidi Roizen: To Build Real Relationships, Be Real

When you read the description of Heidi Roizen as a “legendary networker”, your first image might be someone with a stack of business cards, doling them out and shaking hands.

You would be wrong.

One of the key reasons that Heidi has had success in networking is because she genuinely cares about other people and builds real relationships with them.  And after you read this, you will also want to be one of her friends, even if only to get on her Christmas card list.

Heidi says:

“When I read somebody just shipped their product, or somebody just got a promotion, or somebody just had a baby, a little “attaboy” goes a long way in maintaining the relationship. People like to know that you’re thinking about them and that you notice when something happens to them, whether it’s good or bad. If someone experiences a death in their family, sending them an actual hand-written card is a really nice thing to do. It’s a human gesture. People appreciate that. And I don’t do it because I’m trying to manipulate. I do it because I think it’s the right thing to do as someone who cares about other people. But these things help. Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

This week in the roundup, a networking power plan, Gen Y’s relational advantage, responding to negative feedback, and the Smile Factor.

Network power plan – Pre-planning your strategy for networking events betters your chances for getting to the right prospects so you can focus on whom to build relationships with. Learn how to create a solid game plan in this CBS MoneyWatch article: http://cbsn.ws/MZx8xS.

Gen Y Advantage – It seems that Gen Y knows how to build relationships with its younger counterparts to the advantage of their careers. Learn what they are doing here: http://cbsn.ws/LBVUIj.

Responding to Negative Feedback – Social media is making customer relationships tricky to manage. Being skillful with your response to negative feedback is critical. Learn some of the finer points of feedback response here: http://bit.ly/KI5Agn.

The Smile Factor – Warming up a face-to-face introduction with a smile often works. Making your marketing deliver the same effect can have long lasting positive results in building the relationship with the customer. Learn how to create smile worthy communication here: http://bit.ly/N2K9J4.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director. 

Networking Takeaways from “Madmen”

“Madmen” fans: Have you ever found yourself at work asking, “What would Don Draper do?” (Hopefully you’re not asking yourself that when it comes to his personal life…)

My favorite professional takeaway from “Madmen” so far is actually a networking tip you can learn from Don or from Peggy: They both recognized early on that even though they were hyper-talented, they needed relationships to advance their careers, and did a great job developing them.

Don pushed his way into the world of advertising by stalking the well-connected Roger Sterling. This is interesting, since if anything their lasting relationship dynamic is as peers. They each know they bring something important to the table—Don, his talent, and Roger, his upper-crust network. Roger isn’t so much a mentor as a connector, although he does still sometimes school Don on the finer points of business relationship savvy. Continue reading

Why Christine Comaford Says You Should Approach Your Next Contact Palm-Up

Christine Comaford is an entrepreneur, author, and consultant. In her Social Capitalist Live Event interview she said that she has been through at least 11 reinventions of herself. Here she shares some of her best advice about building relationships based on generosity.

Christine says:

“The number one thing is networking palm up. What most people do is palm-down networking. “What can I get?” They go to a cocktail party, they’re trying to grab stuff. That’s palm down. Palm-up networking is finding out what somebody needs and helping them get it. You’re going to get yours later, the universe has a perfect accounting system. So if people simply change their networking approach to be palm up, you walk around at a cocktail party, you ask what business they’re in: “Wow, that’s cool, how did you get into that business?” Everybody has a great story as to how they’ve gotten into their business. “Wow, what’s your ideal client?” “Oh, I might know some of those guys. I’ll follow up with you next Tuesday.” Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

This week in the roundup, career advice for maintaining balance and being an accountable leader. Plus, a real life example of networking’s importance to your success and using social media to generate generosity.

Healthy career advice – Sales expert Geoffrey James offers great advice for managing your career to maintain your sanity. Read Geoffrey’s Inc. blog here: http://bit.ly/MMSxOS.

Calling all aspiring leaders – Futurist Edie Weiner offers insight on the role that wisdom vs. intellect plays in the success of future leaders. View Edie’s Big Think video here: http://bit.ly/M3xVPM.

Networking for a win – Networking took center stage on the latest episode of TechStars where entrepreneurs aspiring to win the big prize had to network their way to a win. View the episode here: http://bit.ly/OB04zq.

Oh what a wonderful world – Author of Culturematic, Grant McCracken, investigates the possibility of a utopian world where kindness reins in even the most unfriendly civil landscapes. Read Grant’s HBR blog researching social media designed to generate generosity here: http://bit.ly/K26CmZ.

Accountability is key – Three simple words can build trust with employees. No, it’s not “I trust you”.  “I was wrong,” shows self-accountability and reinforces your character as a leader. View the Smartbrief blog from internationally known leadership expert, John Baldoni here: http://bit.ly/KUSAtz.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.