At the heart of it networking is CONNECTING, not collecting.
Three tips on being a professional who others invite to the table:
- Be curious about the people you are connecting with.
- Connect them with resources (people or things) that can help them.
- Collect friends by telling your story to those who have a genuine care for others.
Questions to ask in a PROFESSIONAL setting:
- How did you decide to do what you do?
- What is your favorite thing to do?
- What are you reading right now?
- What are you working on right now?
- What do you need help with right now?
Questions to ask in a SOCIAL setting:
- What do you do for fun?
- Do you prefer a certain social media platform for connecting with people?
- What has been your favorite vacation?
- Tell me about your favorite life lesson in 3 sentences or less.
- Where are you from?
- Tell me about something you’ve learned about yourself in the past year.
- What makes you lose track of time?
- What risk are you happy you took?
- What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
- What random act of kindness could you perform right now?
- What is something new you recently tried and loved?
- How are you making a difference in the world?
- What does your perfect day look like?
- What are you working towards that you could use some help with?
But the most important part of connecting is LISTENING.
Listen with your heart, not just your ears. Listening to offer connections to help lift them up is the key here.
Listen well, friend. Listen well.
And then follow-up with making connections. Meaning, get their contact info – phone, email, IG handle, SOMETHING. CONNECT!