By Rachel O’h-Uiginn, Undercurrent Coaching
Networking is like learning to ride a bike; it’s awkward at first, you’re wobbly and uncomfortable and not really sure how you’re going to master it. Networking pushes your comfort zones and forces you to share what’s important to you, listen to what others are up to, and see how together, you two might create a new relationship. Most importantly, networking is PRACTICE and PATIENCE.
Networking serves two functions: it helps you get clear and confident about your ideas and helps you develop relationships with others who can assist you along the way. A good leader doesn’t live in a vacuum; they rely upon others input, experiences and ideas to better inform what action they can take. Networking is all about practicing the art of self-confidence and teaches us that other’s ideas aren’t threats or competition, but opportunities to find support and advice on how to make our own ideas reality.
Here are some common myths that stop people from connecting with others and letting their ideas come alive.
Myth #1: To network well, I have to already have my business up & running. If this were the case, then networking events would be empty and filled with sales people who have only their agenda in mind. Most networkers are in the process of building their ideas into something tangible and are seeking the counsel and support of like-minded people. These are social events, not booths at a convention.
Myth #2: I can’t go to one of these because I’m just no good at networking. Ahem — were you born good at riding a bike or walking for the first time? What’s underlying this statement is a belief that you’re just not worthy enough to have your ideas heard. The more you talk about your ideas, the more people support and respond positively to them. A circle of confidence is soon generated and it enhances us, our ideas and our ability to articulate our brilliance. Start small with close friends and family, then the next time you’re striking up a random conversation, share what you’re interested in and the positive encouragement will astound you.
Myth #3: Networking is a waste of time — everyone knows that success is all about who you know. Again, there’s an underlying belief here that it’s pointless to try and also, that there’s a limited number of success out there in the world and it’s not for you. How do you think will-be successful people met each other in the first place? What are you defining as “successful?” If this believe sounds familiar to you, begin to reevaluate whose definition of success you’re living by. Understanding this could be the difference between creating a life YOU want or a life OTHERS want.
Rachel O’h-Uiginn of Undercurrent Coaching helps ignite the personal development of the Millennial Generation. For more information, please visit www.undercurrentcoaching.com