The idea of networking nowadays is often compared to someone dealing with an automated teller machine (ATM), perceived as insincere when one simply transacts and extracts something from the other party. While these self-serving strategies could work, relationships (as well as the benefits!) via meaningful networking would often last longer.
Here’s a quick guide to the art of meaningful networking!
1. Listen and show genuine interest.
2. Instead of asking “What do you do?”, consider asking an open-ended question. Open-ended questions will help you connect with the person on the other end. Consider asking the person about how their day went, their long-term goals, projects they’re working on, etc. Furthermore, asking people what they actually do for a living has greater chances of building barriers, wherein people tend to be stereotyped based on their occupation, social ranking, etc.
3. Do not just dismiss someone as irrelevant. Each person has his own story and you never know that person would play an important role in your future endeavors. Make everyone you meet feel significant.
4. Offer help and make sure that it’s sincere. Show that you’re interested in helping the other person solve his current problems.
5. Lastly, smile!