How to Successfully Flex Your Networking Muscles

Do you know how many people you are connected to on LinkedIn? When is the last time you reached out to most of them? For that matter, when have you last been in contact with anyone in your network?

I know there are about a dozen individuals in my network with whom I consistently in staying in touch. But after participating in a webinar with Jordan Harbinger as part of the Career MasteryTM Kickstart 2019, I realized I was woefully neglecting my network.

Harbinger

Photo courtesy of Jordan Harbinger

Fortunately, Jordan, who is a podcaster and radio personality, had great advice to share. The Jordan Harbinger Show “distills untapped wisdom from the world’s top performers.”

To reengage your network, Jordan said to send a text or email, noting where you met the person, asking what’s new with them, and letting them know there was no urgency with a follow-up. Most often the individual responds fairly quickly.

Networking often has a negative connotation, but it shouldn’t because it plays an important role. “If we are not generating relationships, we are not immune to the consequences of isolating ourselves,” Jordan said.

As you get closer to the top of the corporate ladder, networking becomes even more critical. “The more senior you get, the more you have to interact with other companies,” he said.

When you need the relationship, you have an agenda, Jordan said, which is why it’s important to pave the way by being generous with your own social capital. Jordan also suggested making a list of 10 to 15 people you would connect with to solicit their advice if you were laid off. The time to reach out is now when you don’t have an agenda. Jordan said, “It kicks the rust off our networking muscles.”

When you are networking at conferences, he suggested several questions to begin the conversation, including:

  • Why are you at this conference?
  • Who did you come with?
  • What are you looking forward to hearing?

He also encourages individuals to be systematic and opportunistic with network maintenance. I know my network is due for a tune-up. How about yours?