Today, the value of connections has gone far beyond simple brief acquaintances. Remember the last convention you had participated, did you start talking to the person next to you to ask about the conductor? Did you persuade the person to your left to speak by eye contact and a warm smile? At lunch, did you seek an empty table or join a packed table in which you expected to meet new people?
Networking intends to get to know new people in individual or vocational situations, which can undoubtedly affect our both personal and career development. Each person with skill and expertise, is a useful resource. But this does not mean to take the power of others and exploit them! Networking is a fruitful and mutual interaction. It says as we tend to benefit from other’s energy, we are willing to embrace their requests warmly and suggest them our solutions, which would be even useful for us in so many ways. One of the keynotes in networking is to be polite towards human dignity, not their social status. Even a low-level worker can be a good connection one day.
Imagine you are trapped on an isolated island and have infinite storage of water and crusty bread. Suddenly you understand there is another island which is full of all kind of food, but for getting there, you have to race among wandering sharks in the water. For being successful in networking, we have to make a step ahead out of our comfort zone, where we are only provided water and bread. Speaking to strangers may seem too concerned for so many. Being worried about a smooth interaction with others is perfectly reasonable. It is only by getting out of our comfort zone that we can achieve healthy experiences from building connections for professional growth while increasing our esteem.
Therefore, next time in a conference, keep in mind that you are there to expand your network. Pay attention to people with a confident attitude and a kind face and reach for the mutual interests. Do not worry about the way you begin to talk, just like every other skill; you will gain more successes by practicing and correcting mistakes.