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    Thursday
    Aug042011

    5 Networking Tips for the Nervous Networker

    Are you a nervous networker? Do you know that you need to network but would really rather avoid it? Perhaps you are looking for a career change, a new job or just know that you need to make new connections in order to keep things fresh. Here are a few networking tips to help you along the way and to help you 'in the moment' when you're at that crucial networking event:

    1. Focus on being a good listener

    Listen hard. Rather than talking at people about yourself, spend quality time really listening to what others have to say and what they are looking for. The more you listen, the more you will learn and the more helpful you can be to the person you are networking with. 

    2. Ask questions

    Ask questions and be curious. Find out as much as you can about the person you are networking with. Aim to get them talking for at least 60% of the time so that they have the opportunity to speak and to tell you their story. The more information you gather from them, the more you can gear your answers and what you say to really land with them.

    3. Find Small Groups to Join

    Look for people in smaller groups or standing alone. Often these people will be happy to talk as they may also be finding it hard and awkward to network effectively and break into larger group formations. 

    4. Check out the room layout 

    Observe the layout of the room and group formations in there before choosing who to approach. Look for people who are most likely to respond positively to you approaching them to talk. These would be individuals standing alone who are waiting for someone to talk to, open groups of 2s and 3s. Groups of 2s and 3s where people’s bodies are facing outwards, suggest that they are having a casual conversation and would be happy for others to join in.

    5. Stay away from bigger groups

    Avoid closed groups. Try to notice larger groups or groups of 2s and 3s where people appear to be facing inwards and where their bodies are close together or turned towards each other. These are known as closed groups where people are probably comfortable as they are, are enjoying deep conversations and where another addition to the group could be unwelcomed. 

    These are just a few tips to get you started. For more networking tips check out our 135 Networking Career Tips eBook. This is a much more comprehensive guide that'll help you deal with various networking situations. 

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