Everyone has heard that networking is a crucial part of business and its true. However, large majorities believe that networking is only done face-to-face, which is in fact incorrect. Yes, networking events are common in a lot of businesses, but if you would like to connect with another person or business there are alternative ways, such as: email, phone, or connecting on business social media platforms like LinkedIn. Limiting yourself to just one outlet to connect with someone limits your opportunity of actually making an impact.
The 3 Ways Having Emotional Intelligence Improves Networking:
1. You know your desired outcome
Being self-aware, and understanding what you want is a huge element of networking. Whether it is getting a new job, connecting with potential clients, or talking to fellow employees; your ambition to get the result you want will be higher if you know what you need and want. Before you go to an event, pick up the phone or send an email to a potential business connection, think to yourself why do you want to talk to them? And what is the ideal outcome from this connection?
2. You are more aware of others
There are two parties involved in networking: you and the other person(s) you are connecting with. Having emotional intelligence, allows you to not only understand your emotions but others around you as well. When having a conversation with another person, it is important to have the ability to pick up on their reactions, responses, and emotions throughout the conversation – It will help you with what and how you say things.
3. You are able to express yourself
It is important to be yourself when networking, and self-expression helps you do that. Once you work on your EI muscles you will be given the strength to become assertive which, in networking, is crucial. Being able to walk into a room and exude confidence and a powerful personality will not only help you connect with others but make a lasting impression.
3 Important Things to Remember when Networking
1. Don’t only talk about work
It is important to make a true connection, and if you only focus on and talk about work, chances is that you will leave an unimpressionable mark on the other party. Small talk can be at times tricky, but find something both parties have in common and go from there!
2. Be creative
If you network via email or LinkedIn, make sure the message is memorable. If you are trying to get a job that you know requires a portfolio of some kind, be ahead of the game and submit a sample piece in your message.
3. Stay in contact
The biggest mistake people make is to wait for the other party to reach out first. If you receive a business card, an email address or phone number that’s great! After your first encounter, it is always a good idea to send a follow-up email or phone call to show your interest in them and it will leave a great impression.