Establish contacts: Sense and nonsense
Maybe you are one of those people who prefer to do everything alone because they don't want to give anything up? Or to those who want to reveal as little as possible about your ideas, for fear that someone might steal the idea or abuse trust in some other way.
It must be said: Sure, something like that happens. But in many cases, it pays to cooperate with others instead of beating each other as lone fighters. And you're never completely independent anyway.
Teamwork: why trust is important
For example, a few years ago, I interviewed the founder of a successful startup. She told me that she was very nervous before founding and kept her idea secret from good friends and acquaintances for fear someone might steal her idea.
When the idea came to the market, feedback from customers and employees showed that numerous errors still had to be fixed. In retrospect, she found that if she started up again, she would tell everyone about the idea so that she could get any feedback that was possible, because that would only improve the product.
How does the targeted establishment of a personal or professional network work?
Working with other people has many benefits. But how do you do that, so how do you build a good network of contacts?
Networking should be a give and take. Targeted networking does not mean that you just write down in your address book who you might ask in an emergency. Networking does not mean having any, but as many contacts as possible, though that sometimes helps. Many situations require only a few, but absolutely appropriate contacts - and to make, shape and maintain them requires a high degree of personal commitment. Because only if you know what information or help you could get from whom, networking helps you further.
Social contacts: it's about help, not profit
Targeted networking also does not mean attracting only useful contacts, even if it is often associated with them. It is often forgotten that networks are not primarily there to benefit, but to help each other - for example with words and deeds, information and motivation. If you look at networks as exchange platforms, successes come naturally.
A metaphor clarifies the networking principle: the networker throws out his nets like a fisherman. By accident or diligence, he catches big and small fish, which brings profit, but some fish also escapes him, when the net travels. That's why he has to keep making and renewing it carefully. So networking is the methodical and systematic networking of useful contacts, which helps the chance to meet the right people.
Making contacts: It's about trust
But: A network with people that you really do not like and to which you just want to be nice in order to someday gain an advantage, can hardly be sustained in the long run. Search for specific contact with the people, in which the personal sympathy factor is right. Because networks require intuition:
If you are not turning to good friends, you must first gain confidence. The lower your own expectations, the better, because: Usually, people are happy about their honest interest in you. Those who meet others openly and honestly without too many ulterior motives build trust. Also, the common interest in a particular topic can create trust.
Establishing really good contacts: Serendipity helps
However, trust is quickly lost if you can overlook all too quickly that you are only interested because you expect something from the other. If you can not offer a corresponding countervalue, you will unconsciously leave behind the impression that you are being used - and the contact leaves.
Therefore, do not start from the consideration: "What do I need", but also from the question: "For whom can I do something?". Giving and taking should, however, keep the balance. Networking often also works indirectly through very intricate paths through third parties. This principle is called serial dipitity.
Specific tips for the right interaction with other people
But how exactly do you go about meeting the right people who are there when things get serious. How exactly do you do this? How do you create a stable network that also supports you when needed and helps you to get things better organized? A network of people who pull in the same direction as yourself and who make you more productive in this way?
Successful meeting the right people - 7 tips: It depends on the common goals
Because: getting to know anybody is not an art. But meeting the right people - those with similar goals, with whom you can exchange information about interesting topics and who can help you if necessary - that is the art. But how do you meet them? 7 tips.
- Always remember: Networking should be a give and take. Targeted networking does not mean that you only write down in your address book who you might ask in an emergency. Networking does not mean having any, but as many contacts as possible, even if this is sometimes helpful. Many situations require only a few, but absolutely appropriate contacts - and establishing, shaping and maintaining them requires a high level of personal commitment.
- Overcome the fear of speaking directly to other, largely foreign people. Of course it takes a little effort to overcome. But make it clear: nobody can say more than “No” and you can only win yourself!
- Write down important things about new and old acquaintances, for example on the back of business cards, in the notebook function of your mobile phone or in a separate file on the computer. Write down simple things like addresses, birthdays or hobbies and personal preferences. But it is also important to have common topics of conversation, projects and activities or the gifts that you have given. Also note the contacts of the acquaintance - those that you yourself know and those that are still unknown.
- Maintain contacts: there are no limits to your creativity, the possibilities range from simple birthday wishes to regular group activities. It is crucial, however, that you have patience, because a contact can exist for several years before success is shown - and often this is then completely unplanned.
- The following principle applies: everyone knows everyone around six corners. So if you don't know anyone with the skills you need right now, ask someone for tips who might know people.
- If you can't think of someone to think about straight away, write down 30 of your contacts and then think about who from this list can help you with your current problem with a good recommendation. Feel free to add distant contacts to the list, such as the mother of your daughter's school friend.
- Test how good your personal network really is: Write the members of a certain group (e.g. acquaintances from your studies, former colleagues or similar) on a large sheet of paper. If you don't know a first or last name (or both), put a question mark here. You can use your own address book as an aid, but not lists created by other people such as telephone books etc. Result: The more question marks you find at the end of the list, the more your own network strategy needs improvement.
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