Networking does not have to mean insipid, opportunistic and cheesy elevator pitch conversations. The holidays provide an excellent opportunity to meet new people and develop authentic and mutually beneficial relationships.
Think quality not quantity, authenticity and shared interests.
French philosopher Simone Weil said that attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. Tune out the distractions around you and practice focused attention and deep listening. Maintain eye contact, don’t check your phone or rudely peer over someone’s shoulder for bigger fish. You’ll be pleasantly surprised what you can learn about a person by just listening to them without interrupting for five minutes. Remember that other people are infinitely fascinating you just have to tap in to what excites them.
Reflect on your conversations
Demonstrate that you’ve heard by repeating a few points made by your interlocutor. Provide a bit of feedback and, if relevant, mention an idea, project, experience or shared interest. Be enthusiastic
Follow up on LinkedIn
Before parting state that you how much you enjoyed your brief conversation and ask if it would be okay for you to connect on LinkedIn then follow up with an invitation.
These simple networking tips will make the process more natural, enjoyable and effective during the holidays and any time.