Do you cringe at the concept of networking?
Many hate the idea because they are afraid of what others will think about them. They lack confidence in their ability to say the right things or make the right impression.
A well-networked woman once shared with me the key to her networking success: Be interested, not interesting.
That’s pretty simple! We can succeed by being genuinely interested in others and what they have to say. Our self-imposed angst of networking evaporates when the focus shifts from ourselves to the person on the other side of the table.
My greatest networking success has come as I’ve relinquished the idea that I’m trying to impress someone. I’ve learned to approach networking with a blend of humility and curiosity. First, I acknowledge that every person has something unique to say. I also understand that I can learn and grown from what that person has to share.
I’ve grown to love networking because I can have substantive conversations with some truly inspiring, intriguing and innovative people. I’m not trying to impress upon them that I’m an interesting person. Rather, I’m genuinely interested in them, their knowledge and their ideas.
To anyone trying to network more effectively, to anyone hoping to become a better conversationalist or to anyone preparing for an upcoming job interview, here’s the best advice I can give you:
Be interested, not interesting.