Power Networking Blog

Rae Stonehouse

Rae Stonehouse

Friday, 05 August 2016 07:41

How do I Overcome Social Anxiety?

How do I Overcome Social Anxiety?Calling it ‘social anxiety’ is great for mental health clinicians. We’ve always known it as shyness.

Shyness is a learned behaviour. We are conditioned to be shy by our circumstances in life. We aren’t born with it. Experiences that have been unpleasant to us have a way of repeating themselves when we least expect it. Odds are, that when we respond with shyness in a social situation, we wouldn’t recognize that our response is conditioned or a reflex related to the original incident. Our conscious mind won’t give us access to that memory. Yet we respond almost in the exact same way as we originally did.

There likely isn’t a definitive answer to this question.

Each and everyone of us is different. While there are difficulties that many networkers face, it isn’t universal.

There is likely a lot less difference between going for coffee whether you are in academia or business, then you think there is. Your approach should be professional in either instance.

Going for coffee is an opportunity to get to know the other person. The objective is to find if you share common interests and if there is any opportunity to collaborate on a project or serve as a resource for each other. If you were in business, it may lead to a joint venture.

I wouldn’t consider any of your suggestions as ‘best’ approaches to network as a job seeker, including your ‘besides leveraging existing comments’.

Your suggestions are all passive in nature. As a job-seeker, you really do need to get out there and market yourself via business networking i.e. face to face, belly to belly as the saying goes.

Is it important? That depends! It may not be important to everybody.

If you are a ‘go to work’ and ‘keep your nose to the grindstone’ type of person, it may not be. There are many shy introverts that don’t see the value of networking or possess the skills to do so.

If you are bragging when you are networking, you aren’t doing it right.

If you are not self-promoting when networking … you aren’t doing it right either.

Bragging and self-promoting are not the same thing.

Tuesday, 07 February 2017 08:44

Who're best business networking professionals?

Simply answered, the best business networking professionals are those that network professionally.

Being an effective business networker involves quite a few of what might be considered soft skills. Good conversation skills, empathy, listening skills and a genuine interest to help others are a few that readily come to mind.

27 or 67, it doesn’t really matter, the same principals and strategies apply when it comes to networking.

You ask what the best way to network ‘when you don’t know many people.’ You have identified the gist of the problem i.e. you don’t know many people. The short and simplistic answer to would be to get to know more people.

My first suggestion would be to take the word ‘college’ out of the equation. You may be currently attending college, but that is only one aspect of the potential network you have to connect with.

Don’t discount the value of networking with family, friends, neighbours, businesses and community resources that you frequent. Potential connections are all around us if we keep our eyes open to opportunity.

Teddy Burriss offers some excellent tips on how to strengthen your network. I had to agitate my wee gray cells to come up with some suggestions that would add to the discussion.

One of the things that I have found when it comes to building and strengthening business relationships is to actively discover the common interests that you and the other person have.

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