Take the WORK out of NETWORKING!

When most people think of Networking, they think of awkward cocktail party banter, reaching out to power players to ask a favor, and contending with shameless self-promoters.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be any of those things!

Let’s reframe and take the negative association from a natural human inclination to build genuine, mutually beneficial long-term relationships.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some painless ways to connect with others and expand your network of people who are invested in your well-being. They are strategies that won’t feel like work and could be the path toward building genuine connections.

1.  Approach relationship building with no specific agenda in mind other than the goal of meeting a new friend.

2.  Go into interactions thinking about what you can do for the other person instead of only what they can do for you.

3.  Ask for advice and guidance rather than demanding an answer, a contact, or a resource.

4.  Remove all anxiety. If the other person doesn’t respond with interest, permit yourself to walk away.

5.  If you go to a cocktail party, don’t pressure yourself to “work the room.” Rather, have a few meaningful and memorable conversations with individuals you follow up with.

6.  Remember, you also have something to give. Giving may come in the form of listening, reinforcing a comment, or acknowledging the value of a comment they have made.