I returned from a bar association conference over the weekend and it made me reflect again about networking basics on which I can keep working. Networking is relationship building no matter if you are a lawyer, baker or candlestick maker.
Tip 1. Get comfortable with your self introduction or “elevator speech.”
- Keep it simple. Focus on the benefits of what you do and for whom. “I help small businesses avoid legal problems“ vs. “I am an associate at Smith, Jones & White.”
- Consider your audience and modify your introduction accordingly.
- Say what you really enjoy. Your interest and energy will shine through.
Tip 2. Think “help this person.”
- Provide value first. What goes around comes around. For example, you can:
- Be a connector – – put other people together for their mutual benefit.
- Be a resource or sounding board.
- Ask “how can I help you here?”
Tip 3. Improve your listening skills.
- Focus on the other person instead of what is going on in your head.
- Be curious about them.
- Hear who they are, want they need or want. Listen for their “pain”.
- Listen twice as much you talk.
Tip 4. Develop the skill of acknowledging others.
- This is different than giving a compliment or praise. It reinforces the person’s foundation.
- Acknowledgment sees who the other person is rather than simply what they did. ie. “You are tenacious” vs. “You did a great job.”
- After you acknowledge someone, be silent and notice the effect.
Tip 5. Confidence.
- Focus on others instead of on how you feel.
- Start and keep going. It gets easier.
If you would like coaching on these or other networking and relationship building skills, please contact me.