The best teachers are found where you least expect it. In the area of learning networking tips, I found my teacher while getting my hair cut.
I have been going to the same hairstylist for about 20 years now. One of the bonuses I get each time I go is watching Teresa work. Not as a hairstylist (though she’s a great one), but as one of the best people-connectors I know. She has a fairly small clientele and it is her passion to connect people to each other. She delights in watching the information exchange take place.
Every time I go in, I am introduced to the previous and the next customer and given an overview of who they are, what their interests are, and what we have in common. Sometimes, she will refer me to a customer who isn’t there that she thinks I should connect with for some reason.
Through the years, I have networked with other writers, dog lovers, booksellers, craft makers, artists, and car buyers. This time I met a quilter and an aspiring blogger.
I look forward to my visits because I know it will be another networking adventure with people in my community. Through these connections, I have made new friends, received referrals, sold books, met coaching clients, and learned a lot from some really interesting people.
Here are some of the networking strategies I’ve learned from my hair-styling connector:
Top Networking Tips
- Be genuinely interested in other people and what they can do for each other.
- Introduce everyone to each other and share a bit about what you know or like about them.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves and to each other. Ask questions when no one is talking.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. Make it about them, not you.
- Be enthusiastic. Show energy and be a cheerleader for the process. It’s contagious.
- Watch the connections happen!
Do you find yourself wishing you could be a better communicator both at home and at work? Learn these skills and develop the self-confidence you need with my new online course, Communication Skills for Success. For any questions or to learn more, you can also contact me for a free 30-minute consultation.
Betty Lochner is a human resources consultant, business coach, and expert in workplace communications. She is the author of two books on communication, and a newly published journal, Intentional Gratitude.
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