Mindful Networking for Success

 Mindful ‘Out-of Network’ Networking

From Chamber of Commerce socials to Toastmasters to BNI (Business Networking International ) meetings to a LinkedIn profile, effective networking is still one of the recognized pillars of success.

Having attended my share of these events, I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘mindful networking’ is the key to successful networking. Mindful networking means having a strategy for what we want to accomplish at networking and Chamber events. While socializing is good for business, it does not necessarily lead to increased business or direct referrals.

While ‘good old boy’ networks still exist, today’s successful entrepreneurs and business leaders are relying on “out-of-network” business networking to take them, and their companies, to increased market share and better customer engagement. In fact, mindful out-of-network networking is one of the more effective ways to discover new niche markets and new talent.

Sometimes, idealistic people are put off the whole business of networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage. But virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in Heaven. To succeed in this world you have to be known to people. – Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Roselinde Torres addresses this in one of her three simple but crucial questions would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future – ‘What is the diversity measure of your network?’

 Keith Ferrazzi wrote one of the seminal books on networking – Never Eat Alone. Keith is a networking zealot and while I don’t share his level of passion for 24/7 networking, his book is full of great advice to help anyone elevate their networking skills.

“I’ve come to believe that connecting is one of the most important business—and life—skill sets you’ll ever learn. Why? Because, flat out, people do business with people they know and like. Careers—in every imaginable field—work the same”  Keith Ferrazzi

Network selectively

Your time is limited; focus your efforts. Seek out individuals and groups you stand to gain from, whether it’s to learn to learn a new skill or find a job opportunity. Your goal is to connect with people who can recognize your value and talent, so look for shared interests, backgrounds, and qualities. But don’t be too narrow-minded; the best encounters often happen by chance. read more»

Helping clients increase their mindful networking skills is one of the coaching services I provide.