HABIT 2: Embrace Social Media to Nurture Connections
HABIT 1: Ask Great Questions
A powerful network is dynamic—ever growing and ever evolving. Without providing it regular attention, you’ll limit your ability to harness value for you or others. A few tips to actively manage your network include:
- Grow it deliberately: Have a deliberate process for growing your network. A must do: always follow up. The act of following up is a behavior that sets true connectors apart from would-be connectors. How many times have you had engaging conversations with people at an event and neither you nor they have followed up? If you said you’d send more information or make an introduction, keep your promise. It’s the most effective way to build an active network.
- Diversify your contacts: Take time to review your stable of connections and proactively seek opportunities to fill those gaps. How much of your network consists of people who are different from you in terms of background, age, career level, professional expertise? Be aware of gaps in your people portfolio, and identify any emerging sectors or industries that are not covered in your network.
- Cultivate and stimulate: A strong network requires constant stimulation and attention to provide value for others and yields more opportunities for you. Are you introducing people to each other who might not otherwise connect? Every Friday, I book 15 minutes on my calendar to connect one of my contacts with another by writing an email introduction with meaningful context. This practice keeps a connector “sharp” when it comes to identifying opportunities for others.
- Practice yields rewards: Vibrant networks of connections are a powerful mechanism for unlocking value in ideas and organizations. To become a master connector requires an active versus passive mindset. It takes patience and adopting a long-term view. Ultimately, it’s a skill that is available to all. Putting into practice these three habits of asking great questions, using social media and managing your network has helped me become a better connector and continues to help me foster relationships that have benefited me and others. I’m confident that it will help you too.
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