12 networking rules to grow your tribe

12 networking rules to grow your tribe

Whether you are a leader, artist, entrepreneur, student, or professional you must develop strong networking skills. Opportunities multiply when you have a reliable and diverse network of friends and colleagues.  Consider some of my tips below to ensure your network pays off:

  1. Mind your network: Nurture and stay connected with your network. Updates contacts frequently (Plaxo) and consider a social networking sites such as Linkedin and Facebook.
  2. Get out: Go out and meet new people. Step outside of your comfort zone and day-to-day routine. You never know who you may meet at a child’s birthday party, funeral, sports game, charity event, church, or high school play.
  3. Expand: Don’t limit your network within your workplace, industry, school, or community. Get involved with other groups of people outside; network internally, externally, and across boundaries and time zones.
  4. Share: No man is a network. Your network is not your network. There is no “I” in network. It is not a network if you keep it to yourself alone. In this day and age of information keeping your network open will make it grow more.
  5. Connect: Be active and help people within your network to connect. Don’t let your motivation be “what can I get from this?” but keep in mind that sooner or later you will benefit from connecting people among your network.
  6. Grow: Thinking creatively and strategically on ways to grow your network. I.e. start a group of people with a passion for photography. Sooner or later you will have a large group of people (and resources) to draw from.
  7. Engage: Simply collecting business cards doesn’t cut it. You need to be present and active; send an occasional note, a Christmas card, an invitation to a corporate event or a social party. Let your network know that you truly care. And yes, care, do not be a hypocrite.
  8. Be Transparent:  Don’t pretend to be who you are not. Authenticity is the foundation of a lasting relationship.
  9. Be Approachable: Don’t be busy and unavailable. Keep an open door (or inbox) policy and be willing to assist, offer feedback, or advise to others in your network. Who knows, where your next business partner may come from.
  10. Be Just: Act and live justly. Integrity is at the core of everything in life and business. Do not take advantage of others. Don’t burn bridges. Relationships take time to grow and a simple mistake can destroy them in a second-forever.
  11. Communicate: Let your network know how your family, your organization, and you are doing. Its okay to share about your business, personal highlights, vacations, etc. Share your pics and your thoughts. Your network will appreciate knowing more about you than just knowing your job title and the company you work at or own. BLOGs like these one, are a great tool to facilitate periodic updates.
  12. Tap our Network: A network is not just to accumulate people, but to exchange ideas and resources. Don’t be afraid to ask for advise, help, or mentoring!

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