Networking Skills
Building Your People Network

Networking skills is an important skill you need as a leader. I’ve sure you’ve heard of this saying before, that it’s not about what you know, but more importantly who you know.

The Chinese call it 'guanxi' or 'relationship' in Chinese. The Chinese have a great value of relationships and they value it above their business.

They are very hospitable people and they would go all the way to ensure that a guest feels fully at home with them.

Similarly, you must have these same skills to build a quality network of people; having good networking skills does not just mean you have stacks and stacks of name cards of people from all industries.

It means you have a good, strong network of people who have a great relationship with you; be it business or personal.

Many times when I am running my organization, I find that I don’t have all the contacts for my organizational training, suppliers and collaborations; but that is when I tap into my network and often, it is the relationship of this network that helps me find the right people for the job. 

You could be the smartest person around, but ultimately whether you’re in business, running a church or in the workplace; it is often your network that is able to help you achieve your goals.

But you should not start thinking that your network is to help you and you alone achieve your own personal goals. In the same way a network benefits you, you must also go out to help people in your network achieve their goals too.

A network is a give and take relationship because no man is an island; we need each other to succeed.

3 Points about Networking Skills

  • Invest in people in your network

In the same way you need to invest in the people around you; you also need to invest in the people in your network. Remember, the attitude you must adopt if you want a strong network is that you must give. Your attitude must be that of a giver, not a taker from this community.

The Bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive. You will find fulfillment in your life when you spend your time giving to people rather than trying to build your own success.  

Think about how you can help the people in your network to grow. Are you more experienced than they are? Then spend time teaching people in your network how to be better and how to be more successful. 

  • Constantly add value to your network

What are the ways you can add value to your network?

If you are a real estate agent; how about sending emails to your friends regularly about the prices and changes in values of houses and any updates in the real estate industry?

If you work in the finance industry, you could tell your friends about the latest happenings in the investing and trading market.

Or simply, you could be the person that constantly sends interesting emails to your friends.

While all these things might seem small, but in reality they put you on top of your friend’s minds. Who will they approach should they need advice on real estate information? Investing trends?

When you constantly add value to your network, one day they will reciprocate with business and valuable connections for you. 

  • Put yourself out there

It's tough to network, especially if you're an Introvert who prefers to work alone and hates small talk. However, understand that as a leader, it is almost a necessity that you have to build networks. 

No matter how uncomfortable it may be, join trade associations, interest groups, networking sessions often to meet new people and make new acquaintances; some of them just might become intimate allies or life-long friends with you!

When you follow these keys, you don't just build a big network, you will build a valuable network of people whom you want to invest in, and people who want to invest in you. 

Remember, although networking implies quantity of people, building the quality of people in your network is just as important as well. 

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Public Speaking Skills: Managing the fear of speaking
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Assertiveness Skills: Learning to speak your mind
Assertiveness skills are something you have to possess as a leader. How can you be assertive, get your point through with effectiveness without being pushy and over aggressive?

Networking Skills: Building your people network
Networking skills is a good leadership skill you need. Ultimately, it’s not about what you know, but more importantly who you know. Learn how you can build a quality network of not just acquaintances, but friends.

Organization Skills: Getting Your Life in Order
Organization skills are part of the self-discipline you require as a leader. An organized person goes through the day with a sense of purpose, never missing a beat and his mind always focused on something.

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