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Four Tips for Reluctant Networkers

Check out these practical networking tips

1. GO WITH THE INTENTION TO HELP

Lawyers who go to a meeting or a reception with the sole purpose of finding a new client or landing a job interview usually leave frustrated and discouraged. They miss the fundamental point: Networking is about building relationships.

One of the quickest and most effective ways to initiate or strengthen a relationship is to help the other person. Recipients of your generosity, wisdom or connections will also be more motivated to help you when you need help.

When my coaching clients go to a function, I ask them not to leave until they have helped at least three people. It counts even if all they do is point someone to the restroom or bar. Possibilities for being helpful abound, however.

For example, at a social or business function they can suggest an online resource for a problem, answer a legal or other question, make an introduction to someone else at the event who may be of interest, promise to send a link to an article on the subject of discussion, or go up to talk to someone standing alone.

Most of my reluctant networker clients report that when they attend with the goal of helping, they feel more at ease. Some report, with some surprise, that they actually kind of enjoy themselves.

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