The concept of networking focuses on relationship building that is a critical skill, especially in the context of the contemporary ever-changing world, setting new challenges and opportunities in the field of communication. There is a wide range of networking forms that are, however, may be divided into tete-a-tete socialization and group networking. Depending on their own peculiarities, situation requirements, and other factors, people may change their approaches.
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In my point of view, I tend to use the group approach more frequently rather than one-to-one communication. It is possible to note that my network consists of peers, people with business knowledge, experienced professional, social contacts, and so on. At the same time, I try to involve people with different background, gender, ethnicity, and cultural views as I support diversity and understand that it is rather important in today’s globalized world that tends to blur boundaries between different cultures. Interestingly, people having different perspectives and backgrounds benefit my experience as I learn the issues we discuss from different angles, considering them from various approaches. For example, recently, when we discussed the raise of organic cosmetics, some people argued that it should completely exchange traditional cosmetics, while others objected that there are some disadvantages such as the short period of storage that would not allow it prevail over non-organic products. A range of question was asked and answered while all the participants paid attention to each other’s attitudes, showing their respect and readiness to ponder over the opposite opinion. Thus, I learned that the mentioned issue has both positive and negative aspects that need to be considered in detail to understand the situation.
My networking is built on the use of different ways, including online and offline platforms. First of all, I prefer to participate in online meetings and conferences as it is easier to access them from any place at a given time. These events usually do not require additional costs. Using virtual contacts, one may access “sites that have a strong networking component, such as professional associations, alumni organizations, message boards, and on-line communities” (“Relationship-Building: Networking”). Along with the mentioned sites, my social networking involves Facebook, Linkedln, etc., the members of which may provide immediate feedback trough discussion groups, forums, and private chats. Second, I attend meetings on campus to communicate with my peers and also meet new people. However, I believe that my offline networking needs to be improved to become more productive.
In his article, Gullo pinpoints the scene from Sideways film, where Miles, one of the main characters explains the other one the value of Pinot: “It’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention”. In fact, they discuss human relationships through this metaphor, symbolizing deep, honest, and open connections. Personally, I try to apply such relationships to my networking with different people, whom I want to express my opinion, provide perspective, or receive feedback and support from them. It seems that to built successful networking, it is essential to adhere to the emotional honesty, continuous learning, and the desire to understand people around. In general, I try to use networking in my professional life to gain knowledge and skills, thus becoming more proficient and aware of the recent trends based on appropriate human connections.
Speaking of my future plans regarding my networking utilization, I can state that it is important to improve continuous contacts and enlarge networking through establishing new relationships. This can be achieved by improving my networking skills, including communication, trust building, and open and friendly atmosphere creation as well as some other aspects related to the issue. For example, I find that the following recommendations provided by Entrepreneur are rather focused and beneficial: “Listen. Ask good questions. Repeat” (“5 Steps to Seriously Improve Your Networking Skills”). The following questions may be posed to people: how did they get into this sphere of business? what interesting experience do they have? what advice can they give to someone who is trying to enter this professional field? Indeed, it is highly appreciated when a partner listens carefully, asks proper questions to interpret the expressed ideas correctly, and paraphrases them so that an interlocutor understands that he or she accomplished the initial purpose of the conversation.
Furthermore, I plan to learn setting focused directions and adding value to my networking. In particular, it is necessary to identify the paramount target and divide its accomplishment into several stages, the completion of each of which would inevitably lead to the following successful achievements. My contemporary goal is to acquire sufficient knowledge and skills to become a competitive professional while my networking should contribute to it. In this connection, I plan to connect my goal with my networking and make such an approach an integral part of my life, where all the connections in one way or another would promote the completion of my short-term goals. The significant efforts and time would be essential to create the mentioned plan and then follow it in a long perspective.
Another potential development area is superconnecting people that means introduce people one knows to each other so that they may contribute to networking of the connector and also to their own relationships. Simmons claims that the power of convening may revolutionize networking as the example of Lewis Howes shows that “instead of facilitating hundreds of introductions, he could indirectly facilitate tens of thousands”. This is a prominent footballer, whose career was finished due to injury and who applied a new form of leadership and networking, connecting plenty of people with each other. From the mentioned example, it becomes evident that superconnecting allows growing relationships in an exponential manner that, in its turn, leads to the increase of efficiency.
In my opinion, superconnecting would add value to my networking by enriching my communication and relationship building competencies. Therefore, I plan to use it in the future primarily through social platforms as they present the most convenient and accessible way to contact people. At this point, it is of great importance to make genuine friends, valuing quality over quantity as it is good relationships that form the future success. Strategically, networking may be regarded as something between art and the science of building professional relationships, but only some experts do it naturally. There are many excellent reasons for networking, and, most importantly, the more people one contacts, the greater the circle of his or her acquaintances and the greater the chances of finding the best customers, partners, employers, and employees. It is useful to ask the existing friends to introduce to their friends by writing a personal letter or requesting the offline meeting.
“5 Steps to Seriously Improve Your Networking Skills.” Entrepreneur, 2015, Web.
Gullo, Frank. “10 Tips for Building Strong Professional Relationships.” Business Insider. 2012, Web.
“Relationship-Building: Networking.” Berkeley Human Resources, Web.
Simmons, Michael. “How to Grow Your Network like a Super Connector”, Forbes. 2013, Web.