A network of connections with the right people benefits your organization, so the stronger, the better. To strengthen your network, create solid connections with individuals who work in organizations that offer the greatest potential mutual benefits.
With whom should you link?
As a leader, you are at the centre of a web of people representing clients, suppliers, communities and governments. You may relate best to people with whom you share experiences and perspectives; usually, those with the same responsibilities.
Building strong relationships with suppliers helps them to deliver what you want more effectively. In addition, they may become a customer or connect you with a potential client.
Connections in your community create a more supportive environment for your operation, plus someone may become an unexpected centre of influence for you. Relationships with civil servants at all levels of government can lead you to opportunities, as they have effective networks in their field and beyond.
Connect through organizations.
In which organizations are individuals with whom you want to connect actively involved? Involve yourself in making a real contribution to the same committees in which they participate.
Strengthen your network.
You already know hundreds of contacts on a first name basis, and they likely each know hundreds of others, so two links away from you are hundreds of thousands of people!
Engage in conversation with those closest in your network. When the relationship feels right, ask for a suggestion about someone you might meet. Continue onward and outward. When you meet someone new, listen first to understand them and their organization. Find ways to help them benefit from the relationship. When you feel they trust you, ask questions that allow you to offer ways in which they can get results working with your organization.
Social media is most effectively used to maintain and solidify pre-existing relationships because it can help connect you to those with shared interests, activities and identities.
A strong network of people sharing mutual benefits helps you build a structure that captures greater gains for your organization.
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