Embrace a Positive Mindset to Networking This Year

In our fast-paced world of business, networking has evolved from an occasional activity to an absolute necessity. Advancements in technology, changes in social norms and shifts in business practices have propelled the wheels of networking.

Despite this, “How does networking benefit us?” echoes from executives and professionals who haven’t realized its potential. The benefits of cultivating strong professional networks are undeniably several — opening doors to business opportunities, expanding knowledge, driving ideas and innovation, accelerating growth, and nurturing meaningful connections.

As the National Director of CorporateConnections UAE Chapter, I came across an interesting read on networking as a powerful tool for exponential development in HBR. Coupled with my experience as an avid networker and belief in the power of connections, I explain its four simple strategies to transform your perception towards networking this year.

Focus on learning

Approaching networking with a learner’s mindset shifts the perspective from a mere task to an exciting avenue of learning and development. Every conversation has the potential to unleash new ideas and opportunities, knowledge and happenings in varied industries and countries. By focusing on the positives and envisioning how it can propel personal and professional development, makes it more rewarding.

Identify common interests

Networking turns more enticing when you align your interests and goals with those you meet. By seeking common ground and probing with the right questions, the interactions become authentic and meaningful. Also, as shared interests get identified, it paves the way for group bonding through exciting activities. Also, these relationships are more likely to be genuine, deeper and long-lasting.

Think about what you can give

No matter your experience, every professional has something to offer than they realize — advice, access to technology or other resources or simply enthusiasm to try the new. Recognizing the value each can bring to the table and contributing to other’s growth and development journey, makes networking feel larger and less selfish.

Those in senior positions can mentor and guide novice professionals under their wings and in turn experience the eternal joy of making a difference in someone’s life. Additionally, heartfelt gratitude for their guidance in public forums not only enhances the adviser’s reputation but also adds significant value to the relationship.

Align to shared goals

Networking becomes a meaningful endeavor when it is linked to a higher goal or purpose. Thinking about networking in terms of collective benefits to organizations and teams makes the process feel more authentic and less self-serving.

In gist, approaching networking with the right mindset can lead to extraordinary pursuits and meaningful connections. I hope this article has motivated you to network better through the year.