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8 tips to build, maintain, and leverage your professional relationships

https://www.fastcompany.com/90476226/8-tips-to-build-maintain-and-leverage-your-professional-relationships

fastcompany.com

8 tips to build, maintain, and leverage your professional relationships
A top leadership coach reveals how you can get the most out of your network.

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Take chances when meeting new people

When given the chance to meet new people, make sure you do it. As you never know when somebody might prove useful, why not being sociable and trying to broaden as much as possible your circle?

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One connection always leads to another

When trying to broaden your social network, say yes to meeting new people. One acquaintance will always lead to another, fact that could only have a positive effect on your professional life.

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Weak vs. strong ties when dealing with connections

When trying to get a better or a different job, relying on the so-called 'weak ties'- that is to say, acquaintances and the like, might prove extremely useful. While your strong connections tend to place you in only one field of activity, the weak ones are more objective and could provide you with new possibilities.

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Reconnect with your old connections

When needed, reconnection with persons you have lost contact for a while, might prove quite the best solution to broaden your network. Therefore, there is no need for you to fear a 'No', as it might as well turn out to be a big 'Yes', leading to successfully strengthened ties.

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Present yourself

When introducing yourself to a new person, especially when you do this virtually, make sure to state who you are and what the nature of the connection is.

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Check both sides when connecting two people

Whenever you want to introduce a person to another, inform both of your idea. Moreover, you might want to also make sure that both parties are interested and agree on the meeting.

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Diversity and evolution when establishing new connections

Building professional relationships requires respecting a set of basic rules, in order to make the best of your connections. Among these, connecting with people from all the fields of activity and checking regularly your network, so as to make sure that your current connections match your desired career path evolution, are two sure ways to keep up the good work when dealing with professional networking.

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Take into account others' interests when networking

Networking means more than just building up your own connections, it also involves connecting others. As it is more of a life skill than a professional one, it will lead to more efficient results when used in a generous and respectful way.

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Social Narrowing

Social Narrowing is a subconscious process in which we are spending time with people who are similar to us.

This phenomenon can be a problem when we need new resources, ideas or a new ...

Change Your Filters

  • When we meet people, we look at them and subconsciously make a decision in our heads about their importance, relevancy or their being of any interest to us.
  • The challenge is to fight these filters and invite people in your life who are of the least interest to you.
  • Identify and connect with people whom you wouldn't normally connect with, adding diversity to your social universe.

People We Don't Reach Out To

The lower your socioeconomic status is, the less diverse are your social networks, as we choose to reach inwards for advice, instead of outwards.

The tweak to apply here is to reach out and ask for advice with the network of people whom you normally will not connect with. Remind yourself of your strengths and values, if you feel intimidated by wanting to take advice out of your comfort zone.

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Setting career goals: take the initiative

Setting career goals: take the initiative

Don’t wait for someone else (your boss or mentor) to ask you what your goals are. Take the initiative and draft your professional goals independently.

  • Review your current sta...

Evaluate your business value

  • Think about what you bring to the table. Knowing what you do well will also help you decide the things you should work on.
  • Don't focus only on the skills that benefit you. Go for the intersection between goals that serve you and your employer or client.
  • Keep you goals SMART. This technique helps you set goals that are specific (S), measurable (M), attainable (A), relevant (R) and timely (T).

Your career goals should challenge you

Be pragmatic, but don’t be afraid to take risks.

Try to make your goals ambitious but achievable. Even if you don’t meet your goal in the time you devote to them, you can re-evaluate and try again.

Time for yourself

According to experts, choosing to spend time by yourself can help your social relationships. Solitude can also help you regulate your emotions. It can have a calming effect that prepares you to bet...

Take time to be idle

Being overly busy with long to-do lists has become a way to communicate status. Although being busy is not a real status indicator, the impact is real and it contributes to burnout, anxiety and stress-related diseases.

Doing nothing can be a great productivity tool for recharging.

Casual friendships

Having weak ties (neighbors, your favorite bartender, or fellow members in a spin class) can have a positive impact on our well-being by helping us feel more connected to other social groups.