For quite some time now, we’ve heard about the importance of networking, but what’s that and how to do it effectively?
In certain contexts, it would seem that doing network is delivering business cards to strangers with the intention that one day they will call. In others it is confused with attending elegant breakfasts. But none of this alone represents the formation of a network that you can trust.
Network, then, is the ability to string together a network (net) of contacts that you can put to work to achieve your goals. These networks are famous in the business context but not only, women’s networks united by sorority are equally important when it comes to finding support, opportunities and advice.
“The intention is that you spend a relaxed moment, meet more people and build a network that allows you to resolve issues more easily in the future. You don’t necessarily have to leave with a signed contract. If you interact, are pleasant and show interest in other people, you will demonstrate your ability to relate to others in any situation. “- says Ale Marroquín, Communication Consultant, Executive Presence and Leadership and speaker of Dalia Empower.
The events specially designed to network are an interesting opportunity, but it’s important to arrive with a clear intention and well prepared to bear fruit.
For Gabriela Álvarez; partner of Curtis, International Arbitration Group and participant of the 1st generation of the ADN program in Dalia: “In networking spaces we can expand our professional network by establishing new professional and social relationships that help create our own business network. It’s one more way to empower us as business women.”
For these meetings to be productive we have the following recommendations:
Prepare a short but complete description that conveys who you are and your company.
Carry enough business cards
If you know who will be attending, research a little who these people are and what interests them. This will make it easier for them to find common subjects and to exchange, in addition to cards, experiences that make the meeting memorable.
Be clear about your objective and focus on it. If you want to sell, find talent, form alliances or promote a product, your message and strategy should be routed there.
Be honest. Don’t try to hide the downsides. Sometimes being open about your difficulties can open options for you to solve them with the right people.
Not only is networking done at events. Many times, who you are daily and how you behave with the people around you are the elements that make your influence and leadership your main business card to build a network.
Mónica Ramírez, Senior Manager of Treasury and Finance at Nissan Mexicana and assistant to the workshop on Team Management in Times of Change, reminds us that the secret of the network is to get involved with people, not just connect needs.
“I’ve learned the importance of networking because it allows you to expand your contacts and open relationships. If it’s true that what you do is work but there must also be engagement so that the relationships are meaningful.“
When we do network we want our ties to be strong and deep, so “before looking interesting, you should be interested in the other”, as Ale Marroquín comments.
What often fails when we want to activate our network is not that the person is the wrong person, but that the link we form with her is weak or non-existent. We become another email in the inbox or a business card in the trash. So before activating the people in your network, ask yourself if you would also be willing to help the other and how you’d like to be treated.
As Maricarmen Bernal, Counselor of Dalia Empower, says: “the most relevant input in organizations is relationships”. At Dalia we are aware of this and we seek that the space that people share with us, not only generates knowledge, but also builds meaningful relationships, to achieve true empowerment.
If you are interested in becoming part of our community, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org