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Fearless Networking

How to overcome the fear of meeting and connecting with people?


I love meeting people. I love interacting with them, learning about them and their stories and generally staying in touch.. I am what many call - a natural networker. What comes easy to me though, can be a dreaded activity to some.


In my experience as a coach, I’ve come across several professionals who want to network but step back as they feel it is a difficult process. Also it is an assumption that introverts cannot network. However, Investing in professional relationships - networking, is considered an important skill of the future.


If you want more people to know about you and your work; then networking with the right group of people is very important.


Gone are the days when you upload your resume on some website and you get called. 65 to 80% jobs today are filled through networking. Startups and small businesses also depend on networking to get closer to their target market and to get their clients.


Networking doesn't necessarily mean attending events with large groups of people. While mixers and meet-ups are important, networking in the true sense is connecting with people. That means, you can network while waiting in the supermarket counter, or in a restaurant or when you travel. Networking today happens online as well via apps such as Lunchclub, CoffeeMug etc.


"Networking is a lot like nutrition and fitness: we know what to do, the hard part is making it a top priority." -- Herminia Ibarra

So to make networking part of your life with a little less stress, here are a few tips -


1 - Make friends not clients


Don’t interact or connect with people with an intention to sell them something. It will stress you out and make others uncomfortable as well. Always keep your intention only to make friends and grow the relationship. Remember, networking is like farming, you have to toil the land, sow the seed and shower it with enough water for it to give you the fruit. So, create an intention to just make friends.


2 - Cultivate the Giving Mindset


Zig Ziglar said "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want" This is also called the abundance mindset, where you are always thinking about helping others get what they want. When you help your network get what they want, you will be able to achieve what you want.


That’s the law of attraction for you!

Also putting others' needs in focus will help reduce stress on meeting your own needs.


3 - Practice telling your story


The stress of networking is mostly on how to interact and engage. What you are an expert at, is telling your personal story. And since you have experienced it, it will be easy for you to share right?