Whilst social media has revolutionised the way we work, psychology experts believe that the move towards online networking is damaging the confidence of people being able to network in the real world.
In the past, time spent networking could reap multiple benefits, whether you were buying, selling or just trying to stay on the radar of fellow professionals. Today, workplace demands make it difficult to justify spending time out of the office and the internet can offer an easy way to network in the virtual world.
At court & spark, we believe our network is one of our most important assets, and we have built and developed relationships by meeting hundreds of people over the years. We are convinced that meeting people face-to-face provides the strongest opportunity to really understand what makes a person tick and get a feel for a person’s confidence, gravitas, personality and chemistry.”
The threat is as the networking environment becomes less familiar, people lose the confidence to engage within professional forums and events and miss out on making new connections and acquaintances.
If you need help to improve your confidence in a networking environment here’s a few of my top tips:
1. If possible, pre-arrange to meet a contact at a networking event – it means that you can be guaranteed to get some benefit out of the event, and it’s possible the contact that you’re meeting can introduce you to some new connections.
2. If you see someone on their own, invite them to join your conversation, or strike up a conversation with them – it’s likely that they are also there to make new connections so will welcome the opportunity to engage.
3. Have an exit strategy so you can move on when the conversation has died, whether it’s a refreshment break, making a call or searching for another contact.
4. View networking events as a long term relationship builder and don’t expect to walk away with an immediate opportunity. Cultivate the new contacts you have made by following up with email contact and future invites to other similar networking events.