What are you thinking of when hearing the word “networking”? Let’s be honest with each other: many of us die a little inside when they hear about it and, when we need to practice it, it’s like the end is coming. But how can we make it easier and more pleasant?
First, you need to change your network filters. Think about an ordinary day at the office – you probably take the same route to your office, drink coffee from the same place, arrive at your designated desk and so on. The same applies to your daily interactions because we, as human beings, tend to decide in less than one second if someone we meet is interesting or not. We recommend you fight the filters you have developed throughout your entire life – take a new path to work, drink your coffee in another place or even go to the bathroom on a different floor. On another level, “force” yourself to talk with people who have different views than you and who don’t look “interesting” from the first moment – they might surprise you.
Going deeper into this subject, we usually forget about one simple and easy opportunity – thanking people for doing us a favor. We are not referring just to the Thank you text, but actually going beyond that – finding a way that you can be useful to them, now or later. Put them first, be aware of their needs and you will surely expand your network without much effort.
Last, but not least, remember that most people feel the same way – they don’t like networking. So, instead of thinking that you are an impostor, you can remind yourself that you are connected with people doing the best they can, who also feel nervous and uncomfortable about approaching strangers.
With TEDxBucharest11 event rapidly approaching, we believe that networking can be reframed to having pleasant conversations, without obligations or fake masks. So, are you open to networking?
photography & retouch: Bogdan Mocanu, Oana Bardan - thebucharests.ro