Build and Nurture Your Relationships!

August 4, 2014, by , Posted in Blog,Leadership,LEADERtips, 1 Comment

Corporate professionals and entrepreneurs will agree; the top contributor finding their job or securing their latest client is their extended network (of friends, employees, peers, vendors, and clients).  Yet when asked about their approach and process for building that network, they give very different responses.

Entrepreneurs fully understand the value of building, nurturing and harvesting their connections for the next opportunity, strategic partner, new hire, and/or client lead. They even understand leveraging their connections for their skill set, experience and their own network. They spend a great deal of time meeting and greeting contacts one on one, in groups, within associations and groups, and even online (i.e. LinkedIn). They get that; someone they know may know someone who may know someone that they can help or leverage them.

Corporate professionals get the value of building and nurturing their network, however it’s typically when they find themselves in search of a new job.

  • Of course this excludes most salespeople, who know it is imperative to meet and acquire new client.

In their defense – corporate professionals are heads down focused on the job at hand, the next due date or the pile of work sitting on their desk. They’ll state that connecting with and getting to know those outside their company, industry or skill set just isn’t needed to achieve their objectives.

Or is it? Just within the last three weeks, I have met with a handful of corporate professionals at the start of a job search, who confessed: “I never appreciated my network until now”. They find themselves scrambling to reconnect without appearing self-serving.

So, here is your wake-up call –

LEADERtips™ for building and nurturing your network:

  • Layout the value, benefits and objectives you can obtain by building your network.
  • Define a networking goal with specific targets for meet and greets, connecting, collaboration with, etc.
  • Document and capture online your current network of relationships, aka a rolodex.
  • Schedule weekly or monthly meet and greets with a specific number of connections.
    • Meet and greets should be both learning what they are doing or needing and updating them on what you are doing.
  • Take your networking online; meeting, collaborating and engaging with others, i.e. LinkedIn invitations, group discussions and status updates. Remaining visible and in front of your connections will serve you greatly!
  • Coach and support those around you to do the same as networking and relationship building has a viral effect – your connections will open up their connections, expanding your network immediately.
  • Have fun with it. It is fun getting to know other people, what they do, who they work for, and more. It is a great distraction and stress reliever from the everyday chaos that is work. And it allows you to stretch your arms and legs out into the world…. Enjoy it.

What are your thoughts on this…

One Response to “Build and Nurture Your Relationships!”

  1. Patricia says:

    Underestimate the power of networking at your own peril. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply

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