Will you be my friend?

With the summer holidays almost over and the children ready to go back to school, it’s time to turn our attention back to business.  The first day back at school children look to catch up with their old friends, share their holiday stories and look to make some new school friends.  Now we’re all grown-up is it the same for us?  How do we, as business people do this? The answer – network!

Consider networking as a grown-up way of catching up with old friends, along with the process of making new friends.  Similar to friendships, networking is a long-term commitment that requires nurturing.  When you meet someone new, get to know them before you start the serious business of relationship building. Networking is an investment in the future, it should be a one-off, one-time event.

When you’re networking look out for the opportunities for others,  pass on relevant information and quality introductions to people in your network, the basis of successful networking is trust, relationships, understanding the ability and looking for opportunities to help each other, by helping others connect with the right person is hugely valuable.

Many people turn to networking only when they’re looking for a job or to make a sale, this gives a negative perception of networking, one that is that it i’s manipulative, networking only for personal gain achieves nothing.  For your network to work effectively and for people to want to help you, everyone has to be willing to help each other first.  As the relationship grows and the stronger your relationship becomes, the more people will want to help you, so if you want to be a truly great networker and connector you need to learn to ‘listen for’ people.

If you’re trying to make friends at every networking event you attend, you may be doing yourself a disservice.  Networking is not about using other people as you climb to the top or an attempt to better yourself through other people,  this is when it all goes wrong.  It’s about being real, building friendships and understanding that creating connections and networking is not just about what people can do for you, but it is, firstly, about what you can do for others.

Back to work after summer means back to networking and making real friends.

Lorna Burroughes

Thrive developing your connections for growth

If you want to keep up to date with networking hints and tips or would like to find out more about how to make business connections and networking in Norwich and Norfolk, please email enquiries@thrive.buzz or ring us on 01603 597727