The Six Networking Fears You Must Overcome


Facing Your Fear of Networking

Even though we have been introducing ourselves to new people since our early years; many people are more hesitant now, than they were as a child, to meet someone new. The fear associated with networking is almost as debilitating as the fear of speaking in public. And public speaking is another skill we have been perfecting since we were very young. We speak in public every day and we meet new people every day; speaking and networking are natural processes!

The Six Networking Fears

  1. I don’t want them to say no;
  2. What will they expect from me;
  3. What will they think of me;
  4. I don’t have time for the people I currently know;
  5. I’ve seen a lot of pushy people and I don’t want people to think of me that way; and
  6. It’s too cold and impersonal.

I Don’t Want Them to Say No

The fear of rejection is very strong for a lot of people; enough of a fear they will avoid the situation where someone can say no. The better way to think of this is if someone does say no; you really haven’t lost anything because you didn’t have it in the first place.

There are two options either you gain a new connection or you stay in the same place. It’s not a situation where you can go backwards!

What Will They Expect from Me?

This is a great question if you look at networking as a score card. Some people are truly in it for themselves and they are constantly looking for a payback. They give nothing if they do not believe they will be receiving in return. These are not the people you want in your network. Not that you will throw them out, but you won’t spend time nurturing the relationship. You want to spend your time on those who are worthy of your time.

True networking is from the heart and works out of a desire to be helpful to others.

What Will They Think of Me?

The first question is why are you looking to connect with the individual? Are you networking or begging? If you are going to your potential connection with your hand out looking for them to give you something; it will definitely leave a bad taste in their mouth. On the other hand if you are going with a sincere desire to network and interest in the individual; you will be fine.

The simple act of reaching out to connect isn’t going to cause alarm; it’s the intent behind your desires which have the potential to create problems. If you are honest, sincere, caring and genuine; you will have no problem with people thinking poorly of you.

I Don’t Have Time for the People I Currently Know

Our friendships and relationships are constantly evolving. Friends come and friends go; taking the position you don’t have time for new relationships is opportunity limiting. When we keep our circle of friends small or filter out the new relationships; we will only see what we already know. We need the influx of new people to precipitate an influx of new ideas.

I’ve Seen a Lot of Pushy People and I Don’t Want People to Think of Me That Way

Networking doesn’t mean you are trying to force yourself on someone. You’re not trying to be a stalker. There are a lot of pushy, overbearing people out there; however, that doesn’t mean you need to be one of them.

If you are attempting to connect with someone who believes networkers are pushy and overbearing you should be looking for other networking opportunities; chances are high this individual doesn’t have much to offer anyway.

It’s Too Cold and Impersonal

Cold and impersonal describes the person who is out for his or her self. This is the person who starts a discussion, does a quick qualify and, if you don’t measure up, moves on to the next target. I have heard numerous stories like this describing the entertainment industry in Southern California.

Cold and impersonal is a very self-absorbed group who feel you should be honored they gave you a few moments of their time.

If you are sincere in your interest in the individual you are attempting to gain as a connection; you will not be described as cold and impersonal by your connections.

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What Are Your 2011 Networking Goals?


It Is That Time of Year Again

We may reflect on the goals we set for 2010 and we are going to make our 2011 New Year’s resolutions for many aspects of our life. Another year has passed and it is time to ask not only whether you achieved your networking goals for 2010, but did you even have networking goals in 2010? Or were you like most people and just left the process to fate?

It's Time to Make Your Networking Resolution

I’m afraid that far too many left it to fate and fate did not shine kindly upon their efforts. Networking is a process that requires goals and a strategy. Without these two components your networking has no focus. Without a focus it is difficult to find a reason to network and most end up not networking or they end up connecting simply because they want something.

 

Networking Is More than Seeing Who Can Give You What

I recently wrote another article on networking and one of the responses that I received raised the issue that people only network with their own needs in mind. I think this is true, but not for the reason that others may believe. To me the issue is that we were never trained in the art of networking and therefore do not know what to do or how to network properly.

Networking is a give and take activity and it starts with the give portion. When you network it should be a win-win situation for both parties. If only one person is a winner; that is not networking. If you enter a networking situation with only your interests in mind; you will not be successful engaging the other person or at least not for the long-term.

Your 2011 Goals

For 2011 it is time to try something new: networking with a purpose. Having goals and a purpose as part of your networking allows you to monitor and measure your progress.

  1. What is your purpose for networking?
  2. What do you want to accomplish with your networking efforts?
  3. What is the value that you bring to the relationship?
  4. Who do you want in your network and why?
  5. How are you going to communicate with your network and what is the frequency of those communications?

For more ideas check out our free report to learn more about Networking with a Purpose.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Helping Your Children by Building Your Network


Your Network Has Value to Your Children

While you may typically think of your network as your list of contacts that will help you in your business or career. Your network has the potential to help more than just you. One of the most important benefactors of your networking efforts can be your children.

How Your Network Can Help Your Children

Through your connections, you can provide your children access to influential people they may otherwise never know. Whether your child is looking for a connection to a college, an opportunity for an internship, a job, references, or some other interest that can benefit from a connection; you can be the missing link.

Almost daily most of you come in contact with interesting people with varied backgrounds. Capturing these connections brings value to you and your network, but it may also bring a needed future connection for your children.

As a parent building your network can be one of the most unselfish acts you ever take as you work to create the connections that your child will need as the progress through their career.

Read my other networking articles on this Blog for more reasons why you MUST be networking.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Why Your Teenager and College Student Must Network Now!


I Think Your Teenagers and College Students Must Be Networking with Professionals

Your teens and college students are missing a tremendous opportunity if they are not networking with the business people, instructors, teachers, administrators, employers, youth leaders, scout leaders, charitable organization leaders, etc that they meet and those that get to know them. These people are their references and recommendations of the future. These people are you and/or your child’s connections to opportunities.

One of the most important things you can do in networking is connect to people that know you: It Is Who Knows You that Counts! The individuals identified above are people that know you and can attest to your character, abilities, and other characteristics.

The Reality Is

When your student wants to apply to a college, apply for a scholarship, find an internship, look for a recommendation, etc creating the necessary connections today will make their lives easier in the future. It is a fact that connections are important for people to succeed, so now is the time to start building them.

College Applications

If you or your child are attempting to get into a prestigious college; having an inside connection is of tremendous value. When you or they have access to alumni they have a leg up in the process. Alumni and college representatives are critical to the acceptance process. College entrance is just like getting a job an insider is a key asset.

Internships

During the college years if you or your child are seeking an internship, connections are crucial. Your connections will know about or know people that know about opportunities and again the connection is key.

The truth is that people like to help people and people with the important connections like to see those they help succeed. Most want to be mentors it is their way of being able to give a payback for their success.

Target Your Efforts

As you go through this process target they need to target their efforts. If they want to go to Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Michigan, or wherever; they need connections to any that are on their list. If they do not know someone currently by starting the networking process now, today, they can build their connections and then start searching for “THE” connection that can move them forward.

If you/they know what is wanted; the opportunities for success exist. No, it’s not a given, but with effort it can happen.

Don’t wait, start your networking now; then your network will be in place when you need it!

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping business, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.