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Dr. Tobin Porterfield and Bob Graham explain how to become more effective as a networker, what soft skills you should be applying and how you can overcome your fears and reluctance to make connections that can enhance your career.
LinkedIn.com in 2016 found that 85% of all jobs come from networking. Therefore, our ability to be successful at formal and informal networking can play a huge role in our career enhancement and opportunities.
Among the topics they discuss are:
- How to approach networking
- Networking for introverts or reluctant networkers
- Negotiating your way through formal networking events
- Ways to win at informal networking events
- Networking as a means of building trust, which can may lead to business
- What your network can do for you and others in your network
- How networking can help you better understand your customers
- Taking advantage of opportunities that come through networking
- Getting ready to be successful at networking
- The soft skills that underpin successful networking
- Why “I can help you” won’t work
- The wingman approach to networking
- Six things help you to gain trust in seconds
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We will dig deeper into becoming a Networking Ninja by playing through some typical scenarios that face people who are networking like how to end a discussion without upsetting anyone.
Collaboration, an important soft skill, takes many forms, and each form it often enables us to rise above the challenges we face in life. The old adage that two hears are better than one is valid.
To obtain survey responses from the widest possible group of people for some research we are doing, we sent it to our LinkedIn and Facebook friends. Some responded and some did not. We also sent the survey to some of our networks’ best connectors, hoping that they would spread the survey on soft skills in the workplace beyond our limited networks. (Our networks aren’t small. Collectively our LinkedIn numbers exceed 3,000 connections.)
But reaching beyond our networks enables us to obtain a broader cross-section of respondents. Our network, while diverse and broad, is limited in some ways, as we each have a lot of former students and academic world colleagues on our lists. One of our lists skews toward insurance brokers, owing to a past position as an insurance publication editor.
The people with whom we shared our lists have their own networks. Those networks represent different segments of the working population.
We could have spent a lot of time and money trying to reach a broader network, but in the most effective and obvious method of reaching more people was to collaborate with others. They were happy to help, as in each case, we have provided value to them in various ways, never seeking compensation. We just helped when it was needed.
And now, when we need help, they rise to the occasion, ensuring that we can achieve greater results than if we had only spread word of the survey to our own networks. That collaboration is just one demonstration of where soft skills improve our work.