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Strong professional networks have become a staple of success in the modern workforce. Studies suggest that up to 85% of jobs are filled through connections, while 70% aren’t even publicly published. All too often, it’s not about what you know, but who you know.
Still, not all networking is equally beneficial. Simply collecting business cards and connecting on LinkedIn isn’t enough to build the proper connections you need. Instead, building communities and developing real relationships are the keys to long-term success.
Becoming a Super Connector, or someone who connects others and provides value within any network, can be a challenging task. But given the right tools and mindset, anyone can become a connector.
We’ve compiled a list of five articles by leading authors and networking experts that highlights innovative tips to become a Super Connector.
Find Engines, not Anchors:
Our networks aren’t just about the number of connections we have. More often than not, the quality of our connections sets the worth of our network. Based on his studies, Dr Ivan Misner has found that one of the leading characteristics of an excellent networker is their attitude.
Misner’s article for Entrepreneur magazine underlines the two types of people in our networks, and who you need to look for. He defines them as engines — those with positive, motivating attitudes, and anchors — those with negative attitudes that weigh us down.
To grow as a professional and propel your network to the next level, it’s important to surround yourself with engines, and not anchors.
Learn to Enjoy and Value Networking:
To many people, networking can be an afterthought. We may see hard-work and our own merits as the keys to our success. These “lone wolves”, as communication coach Dorie Clark explains, fail to understand the value of their networks. In her article for Harvard Business Review, Clark highlights four strategies to rethink networking and turn it into an enjoyable and valuable experience.
Getting rid of outdated and inaccurate beliefs of networking is always the first step. Instead of seeing it as a task to meet as many professionals as possible, think of it as simply making new friends that share ideas and interests with.
Most importantly, understanding the value of a strong network is crucial. Having the best credentials, experience, and work ethic may not always be enough. Having the right people behind you is priceless when finding a new job, starting a business, or developing your skill set.
Maintain a Service Mindset:
Oftentimes, we approach networking with the wrong mindset. It’s all too common that we meet a peer and try to sell ourselves as professionals, demonstrating our experience, expertise, and usefulness as a connection.
This is the wrong mindset. As writer and consultant, Kaleigh Moore writes in Fast Company, having a service-minded approach to your networking will invigorate your experience. In other words, reaping what you sow. Approaching every new connection with kindness, empathy, and a willingness to help will go a long way in building a real relationship.
This approach can also involve reaching out to connections to help them. Using UpHabit, an app for thoughtful Super Connectors, With the use of UpHabit’s Reminders feature, you can make it a habit to stay on top of your relationships and offer help. Plus, the Notes feature can help you keep track of any issues or needs your community members may have, so you never forget any conversations or miss any updates.
Use Online Networking:
As we social distance and self-isolate during the COVID-19 crisis, we may find it far harder to network like we used to, or take the steps needed to become a Super connector. Furthermore, lockdowns have fundamentally changed the way many workplaces, conferences, and networking events will look like now and in the future.
Stephanie Vozza, a business writer, provides 4 basic, yet effective, tips to network while physically distancing. As Vozza explains, self-isolation doesn’t have to mean social isolation. Reaching out via email, continuing to expand your reach, and building long term relationships are all essential steps to develop your community from the comfort of your home.
To help you stay connected while in isolation, give UpHabit a try. With all your relationships in one place, it’s easy to organize, set reminders, and take notes, anytime, anywhere.
Be a Great Communicator:
Writing for Forbes, career and leadership coach Kathy Caprino stresses the importance of being a great communicator. Without the ability to talk, listen, and connect with your network, everything we’ve learned so far is useless. But by controlling our emotions, ego, and intentions, we can build better relationships.
Caprino touches on three concepts that are central to effective communication: understanding how our words support us, the importance of respect and compassion, and how to connect with the listener. With these concepts, there are plenty of techniques to develop your mindset when communicating.
From validating your audience to your willingness to change by what you hear, the tips Caprino provides in her article will go a long way in making you a better communicator.
Becoming a Super Connector isn’t an easy task. It takes effort and a willingness to change yourself and your approach to networking, all while taking the time to build genuine relationships. Yet the benefits are immeasurable. Building the right communities and connecting your peers together will help bring out the best in you and your people. And with the upcoming Introductions feature on UpHabit, Super Connectors will be able to connect others anytime, right from their phone.
With networks becoming ever more important in our professional lives, now is the time to make the change. And with these 5 articles to help you out and the tools offered by UpHabit, the Personal CRM app for thoughtful Super Connectors, you’ll be well on your way.