In two previous articles for CBN, we glanced at two important aspects of Networking Wisely—‘Which Events’ to attend and ‘Who We Are’ once we walk in the door. Now let’s jump into the final aspect of Networking Wisely—the ‘What We Do’ part.
The ‘What We Do’ part is in fact ‘listen and learn’!
What do we listen for? We listen for other people’s passions, their stories, their expertise, whatever they want to give to us…anything that will give us information that will help us determine whether we want to pursue a business or any type relationship with them.
If we are not fully listening to them, can we expect them to listen to us? Listening, like enthusiasm, is contagious.
There are three levels of awareness that we experience when listening to another person. I want to share a little about each level with you to help you become more aware of which level you operate in during networking events.
Level I is something we want to avoid—it’s what I call a typical teenager’s capacity to take in information. In Level I, you only hear the sound of your own voice and rarely hear what is being said to you.
You interrupt often and take in data from others only as it relates to you. Have you ever interacted with someone like this while networking? Not very effective is it?
Unfortunately in new or challenging situations such as networking, or when we have a lot on our minds at the end of the day, we often revert to this Level I. It is easy and takes little concentration. In Level I we sadly miss most of what is being presented to us.
Level II is typical cocktail chatter. You actually do hear the words of the other person and rarely interrupt; yet you take these words at face value and do not look for the real essence of what is being communicated to you. One can easily carry on conversations in Level II but the information received is typically shallow.
Level III is where the mastery in networking exists. This is where we want to be! And, with practice, Level III can occur in very brief conversations.
Level III is when you bring all of your insightful human senses together—you get really curious about this other person before you and pay very close attention to all of them, not just their words!
You gather information from their eyes, voice tones and their body language! You listen to what your intuition is telling you about them. You listen for the real substance of what they are expressing to you!
How do you know when you are in this Level III of awareness? As you listen and they talk and know that you are really listening, you both come alive!
You remain hugely curious about such things as ‘what is this person passionate about, what does he stand for and value in life, what makes her laugh, what makes him really, really great at what he does?’
This curiosity helps you to determine the whole of what this other person is sharing with you. It is an extremely rich place from whence to both attain and share information, because you both feel ‘heard’!!
Thus, the ‘What We Do’ part of effective networking is to become better listeners. Pay more attention with all of your senses when the other person is speaking and take in all of them, not just their words.
There you have it—three key elements to ‘Networking Wisely’ when promoting your business:
1) ‘Which Events’—carefully select the events you attend to make your time invested create the highest returns.
2) ‘Who You Are’ —express your passions what makes you absolutely shine professionally and what makes people want to stand in line to hire you.
3) ‘What You Do’—become a better listener to learn more, share more and create an atmosphere wherein you are both ‘heard’.
Paying close attention to these three elements of networking will not only make these events more fun for you, but will also bring you a return on your investment of time and energy beyond anything that you have previously experienced.
Go out and know ‘em dead!!
Ann Golden Eglé, CPCC, PCC, owner of Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC, can be reached at (541) 385-8887 or www.goldenvisionscoaching.com. Eglé coaches professionals, executives and entrepreneurs throughout North America and also authors a free e-mail coaching “Thought of the Week.”