Mainstreaming Your Networks - Part Two

Last week, I shared with you my views on why women of color need to expand their networking circles.  I'd like to tell you about my four principles that can be applied to any networking situation.  This week, I talk about two:
ONE: LISTEN: An often forgotten factor in the communication process is listening. When you get to the VIP circle, this is really where listening is key.  As an entrepreneur, I have learned the importance and power of listening.  I probably spend 40-60 percent of my time listening, be it with a client or someone I network with.  People are appreciative when you remember a small personal detail about them, be it a trip they were taking, a son or daughter's graduation, etc.  It really touches a person and shows your authentic interest in them.
Listen closely to what is being said, because that could present you with an opportunity to offer help or advice, which is a core tenet of networking - looking for ways to give, not get.
TWO: TAKE ACTION: Once you're in room, stay on the move.  When you attend an event, survey the room and make a mental list of the top ten people you want to connect with.  Don't save the most important person for last.  Instead, meet this most important person first--before he/she gets too tied up in conversations with other people or worse, leaves.
Another trick is to "Act Like the Host." Even though it's not your party, take the time to introduce people to each other and make sure people are having a good time.  People take notice of someone who seems to know everyone in the room and more importantly, they want to be in the orbit of the host. 
Another effective networking technique is what I call the "art of the tear."  Most of the magazines or newspapers in my home or office are in shreds because I am constantly tearing news items or articles out of them.   They either mention someone I met recently or feature someone I know...or quite frankly...might be someone I want to get to know.  I'll send a little note of congratulations on the item and make sure to mention it the next time I see them.  Again, people will appreciate your thoughtful gesture and it will set you apart from other people jockeying for their attention. 
Next week, my other two principles of networking.
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