Mainstreaming Your Networks - Part Three

Last week, I let you in on two of my four principles of networking:
  • Listen
  • Take Action
This week, I tell you about the other two: 
THREE: ASK: I call this the ability to ask interesting and thought-provoking questions.  It can turn you into an excellent conversationalist and strong networker. 
If you don't ask, you'll never know whether or not you'll get it!     
You must have personal credibility with someone before you make the ask.  Take the time to build your personal credibility with that person and cultivate the relationship.  Be smart about your ask and always, ALWAYS, be authentic. 
FOUR: BELIEVE AND RECEIVE: Have faith in yourself and what you're doing. When you're open to answers that you didn't know existed, great things will happen. Lack of confidence does shine through and if you're uncomfortable or self-conscious, it will show.  That can translate to people not wanting to spend time with you, which means your networking suffers.
Projecting confidence is key - remember, be yourself. The more you mainstream, push your boundariesand practice at networking, the more natural it becomes and before long, it's a gut instinct. 
I discovered this particular principle early on in my career.  I worked as a secretary for the Attorney General's office, where I had exposure to high-level elected officials. Later, I was the "advance person" at events for former Attorney General Neil Hartigan, which is where I learned how to work a room and be comfortable with VIP's. I found they were real people just like us with families, concerns and personality quirks.  In other words, I didn't allow myself to be infatuated with or in awe of their success.  Once you show your "uber admiration," it lowers your credibility.  Rather, I showed my respect and deference for their talents and accomplishments.  
I want to leave you with three additional thoughts that guide my own personal process and that I hope you will incorporate into your own networking efforts:
  • ONE: Patience - Recognize that it takes time to move further away from your core circle.
  • TWO: Persistence - This isn't about being overly aggressive. You must employ gentle, thoughtful persistence to get to that next level.
  • THREE: Passion - Allow your natural talents and enthusiasm to shine through and ALWAYS have your elevator speech prepared and ready to go.
You may only have 30 seconds of someone's time and if you can't recite it as naturally as your own name, you just may have lost your opportunity.  
Pulido Sanchez Communications, LLC.
333 West Wacker Drive
Suite 500
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Phone (312) 855-0191
Fax (312) 885-9131