Managing and developing our network into an excellent resource.
Michael talks about NLP and networking in this video.
Developing our network is a time consuming, but very important, activity. Our success in business really hinges on who we know, and so network management is something that we really shouldn’t ignore. It is an extension of managing our manager and our stakeholders. Our network is almost certainly going to include current and past managers.
The approach to managing an excellent network is the same as the approach to managing our manager and stakeholders, however networking can be very time consuming, and as a result, it’s often at the bottom of our to-do lists. We have to protect our time and develop appropriate systems to help us, so it’s vital to have a way to identify the key people to connect with, and how to do it. LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social and networking platforms are now an essential part of this.
Although a lot of networking is online nowadays, there still are the face-to-face events. It’s important that we always prepare for these and have a plan of who we want to talk to and what we want to talk about. It’s worth investing time to find out how successful people network and then using their techniques to develop and implement our own networking plan. To learn about this, read about modelling in the NLP Techniques section.
As well as getting our names well known, networking is as much about what we can give – how we can be useful to others – as what we can get – how they can be useful to us. We must not approach people just thinking about getting business from or through them. First, we need to establish ourselves as a helpful resource in their minds, and then they will be much more likely to recommend us in the future.
Ways we can do this include sharing their online content, making thoughtful and insightful comments on their social media, coming up with solutions to their business problems, using our own network to put them in touch with the people who can help them, and so on.
The next section explores getting better at what we do.