Building Relationships to Build Your Network
This week I will be giving a presentation on Networking at the University of Michigan’s Career Conference. My key message is: “Building Relationships” is the key to building your network. Here are my 10 key points.
1. Think “Building Relationships” rather than networking.
2. Build relationships by following the concept of “reciprocity”: think “what can I do for other’s?”, rather than “what can other’s do for me?”
3. Building relationships means asking people what they need.
4. Building relationships means listening carefully to their answers and thinking about how you can be helpful
5. Build relationships the old fashion way by joining: service clubs, non-profit boards, religious organizations, etc.
6. Build relationships where you are employed by joining sports leagues, volunteering for committees, going out for lunch or after work with colleagues (never eat alone).
7. You don’t have to be an extrovert to build relationships. Quiet people often build deeper or meaningful relationships than extroverts
8. Use technology to build your relationship network: read The Start-up of You to learn how to use LinkedIn.
9. Build your network while you are employed. People often find that if they lose their job, it’s often too late to start building relationships.
10. In building relationships, take risks. Ask to meet with people higher up in the organization and let them know who you are and find out what they may need.