Every facet of life generally requires you to build quality relationships with people of like minds, if you want your stint on earth to be memorable and result-filled.
The same way you invest in building & strengthening a relationship with a friend or lover is the same way you have to work on your professional relationships too, to ensure maximum productivity and spontaneous career growth.
But truth be told, professional networking is one of those words that can spark fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned professionals. It conjures images of awkward meetings, deliberations, pretense, and the lots. However, networking doesn’t have to be a painful experience. In fact, with the right approach, you’ll enjoy the process, while the dividends are sure to abound.
It’s a well-known fact that you have to take your networking game seriously if you’re ever going to make phenomenal feats in your career. Sadly, that’s the way it is; you either play the game to your benefit or get played by the game to your detriment.
However, the steps to building professional relationships can be confusing. It’s like being at a party where you don’t know anyone, but you’d like to request more food.
That’s the uncertainty the very idea of networking breeds. The good news however is; it won’t be so for you henceforth. Networking is also a skill that can be learned and utilized to your benefit.
Read calmly hereon, as the remainder of this article will outline actionable tips for you to build strong professional relationships & network like the professional that you are.
5 Actionable Tips To Build Strong Professional Relationships.
1. Concentrate Your Energy On The Right People
The first thing you have to do if you’re on a mission to establish professional relationships that’ll stand the test of time is to narrow down your options.
This might seem insignificant, but if you take the first step wrongly, your subsequent steps won’t matter anymore, no matter how well-calculated they are.
Naturally in your workplace or field, there are some people you have no business mingling with. Not because of their position or because they’re insignificant, it’s mainly because their interests don’t align with yours, and all you’re meant to do with folks like that is nurture a respectful and normal colleague-to-colleague or boss-colleague relationship. While on the other hand, there are certain folks with whom you share interests.
These set of people are the right people, concentrate your energy on networking beyond normal with them. Quality over quantity, always.
2. Be Resourceful
Having identified ‘concentrating your energy on the right people’ as the first thing you have to do, your resourcefulness follows suit.
Resourcefulness here isn’t just about how efficiently you execute your work. It’s more about how beneficial you can be. Whether it’s by offering quality advice, being a listening ear, or being helpful is a great way to build strong, long-lasting relationships.
No one is looking to pursue a meaningful relationship with someone that isn’t resourceful.
This can’t be overemphasized. Don’t get all worked up in your pursuit of networks, that you stop being yourself or trying too hard to impress. The truth is, people can see right through that. Instead, be yourself and let your personality shine through. Authenticity is key to building trust and making genuine connections. There are no two ways about this.
While streamlining your choices to people of similar interests, you should also be prepared for strong professional entanglement with people with different, yet positive values and mindsets. This is when having an open mind is helpful. You must be able to see past your differences and devise strategies for fostering a beneficial partnership. See the disparities between your contacts as a chance to grow rather than a threat.
It is important to broaden your networking circle by connecting with individuals from diverse backgrounds and industries. While it can be beneficial to build relationships with experienced professionals in your own industry, it is equally important to establish connections with your peers and individuals outside your field.
Doing this exposes you to new perspectives, ideas, and opportunities that you may not have encountered.
Finally, keep in mind that networking is a continuous process that requires ongoing effort and attention. By following these tips, you’ll certainly develop a strategic approach to building relationships and creating lasting connections with your colleagues, juniors, and industry leaders.
Remember that networking is not just about making contacts, but also about building trust and adding value to others. Approach each interaction with a genuine interest in learning about the other person and their work, and be willing to offer help and support where you can. This way, you’ll be able to build strong professional relationships that’ll influence your career positively.
You might also want to read about Mastering Email Etiquettes at Work.