Understand This and Feel your Anxiety Drop

Networking demonstrates how we relate to people. There is no single right way to network, just as there is no single right way to communicate. While there are things to do that help you connect and relate to people, it’s useful to understand that what works for others needn’t work for you.

In early June of 2015 I wrote a post, How to Break Down Networking Barriers, and offered 3 tips for the networker who wants to drop their anxiety level. Check out these tips. And as you do, know that the way you’re feeling right now about networking is the same as how you feel being at a party, showing up at family reunions or even work events.

You are an individual with expectations of people and with expectations of yourself. When you or others don’t measure up, you respond a certain way. Same thing happens while networking. Networking, like interviewing, dating or professional evaluations, is one of those times we are forced to consider how well we’re coming across.

Don’t base this on whether you’re doing things the same way others are. Others may be actively seeking out people they know while you are looking to meet someone new. Others may be having a quiet, meaningful conversation while you find ways to smile, laugh and have fun. Others may be offering their business card to any person they meet while you wait to be asked for it.

Base your networking effectiveness on how you focus on people around you instead of on you. Base it on how you relate. That’s what networking demonstrates. Relate to get to know your network, to understand their value and to share your own. And keep in mind your value isn’t about how important, successful or intelligent you are. Your value is about how you make people feel about themselves.

You’re allowed to be yourself. Just don’t waste the opportunity to make a good impression while you look for folks you can enjoy. And take the opportunity to share what you’re all about, if asked.

So keep in mind that you will network similar to some while different from many. This should help lower your anxiety level regarding how you’re supposed to be networking.

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