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Networks have always been important in getting things done – both at business and personal level. Leveraging who you know or their inputs, suggestions, referrals etc play an important role in life, whether one likes it or not. Do you know that person in your organization who seems to be successful 90 percent of the time? The one who seems to get things done easily? The one who exceeds expectations? The lucky one?
Guess what? It’s not luck. That person is the one who’s developed deep, valuable relationships with key people in the organization. All organizations are social structures — and social structures are built by and with people. Hence there are three types of networks important in business: operational, personal and strategic.
Operational networking involves creating stronger relationships with people or colleagues necessary to get your work done effectively. This is usually the easiest and most acceptable type.
Strategic networking is about establishing a network of individuals who will help you uncover new opportunities for business and organizational goals.
Here are the Five key reasons to network:
1. Driving Word-Of-Mouth Recommendations
This is an essential reason for networking. The more the people know about you, the more recommendations you will get. Successful businesses are built on referrals.
2. Encouraging Mentors
Networking helps you to find people from any every with lots of business experience who are often more than willing to share their knowledge or awareness with you. Successful business people are usually generous with advice particularly with people open to listening.
3. Getting New Ideas and Innovations
Meeting other business people and talking about business is a crazy way of learning to do business. Every business is different and all business people have their own ideas. Finding out how people in other industries, other markets or with different products get business helps you to generate new ideas and perhaps adapt other people’s innovations to your own business.
4. Improving Your Communication
Getting out there and introducing yourself and your business to strangers soon teaches you the best way to get your message across. At first, it can be very hard but practice and familiarity soon make it second nature. I have seen some people transform from shy beginners to confident crowd-players as their experience builds.
5. Making Great New Friends
Although we focus on business, networking can also bring you, wonderful new friends. It can’t fail too! You share your ideas, your goodwill and your enthusiasm for business with like-minded people. Strong friendships combined with strong business alliances are very powerful forces in building your network.