I’m fond of saying, “it’s not called netWORKing for nothing.” This is hard work. Plus, it may feel like time that you won’t ever get back. And, oh, the fear of rejection – it’s palpable. I can assure you, however, that just about everyone is feeling that way. Even the most experienced of networkers may experience a sense of trepidation and hesitation when it comes to connecting with others.
My advice: Jump in! Be part of it. Be BOLD. The opportunities that unfold may change your life. And, really, what’s the worst thing that can happen? I guess the person you reach out to could say “no.” Or, you may not find the perfect person to talk with every time. Perhaps you don’t have exactly the right line of discussion to get the other person engaged. Or, maybe you don’t leave with a lead or a referral or a sale. But, who knows? You just might.
As you garner confidence and seek to connect with others, you may discover that others begin reaching out to you. You may discover that you have inspired them to be bold themselves.
What does it take to be bold? It takes just one second of courage to try one of these:
- At your next networking event, walk right up to a group of people gathered together and join their conversation. Introduce yourself around. Ask them about themselves. Participate in the discussion.
- At work, knock on the door or the cubicle wall of someone you’ve never spoken with before… tell them you’ve seen them in the breakroom and just wanted to take a moment to introduce yourself and learn about the function they play at the company.
- At your child’s next little league game, introduce yourself to some of the other parents cheering on their children. Invite the team and their families to go for ice cream after the game.
It just takes a little bit of bravery, a touch of focus and an ounce of determination. You can do it. Be bold. Happy Networking!