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We’re all aware of the phrase ‘comfort zone’ and most of us know when we are in it and when we are out of it. Often as we get older the temptation is to stay well within our comfort zones, which of course is comfortable, but means we are likely to continue to get similar results to what we have always had. If you want to get more value from your networking you’re going to have to step outside your comfort zone because, as one saying goes;
Why, because your comfort zone is all about the familiar, routines and safety. Your comfort zone is predictable (mostly) and secure and avoids people, activities and opportunities that risk raising your anxiety. In your comfort zone you do the same things and get the same results so if you want different results you’ll need to risk stepping outside your comfort zone and do different things. Here’s some ideas you can try at your next network meeting;
Stepping out of your comfort zone is all about taking small steps. Manage your anxiety by setting small goals and challenges you can take on at your network meetings. You’ll find your nervousness and anxiety will get less and your confidence will increase. Stepping out of your networking comfort zone will positively benefit not just your networking but your sales and business in general.
If you are having trouble stepping out of your comfort zone speak to us about how we can help you develop some strategies, ease your anxiety and build your confidence.
Happy and challenging networking!
Richard Branson is a big supporter of networking. I recently re-read a blog article he wrote where made a number of points about the benefit of networking and thought it was worth sharing his key points (from entrepreneur.com blog)
Networking Enables you to Bring in Skills you don’t have and might not be able to afford to purchase
“For an entrepreneur, the ability to forge connections is a great asset. When you’re conducting business in a field where you don’t have specialist expertise, it’s often the only way to get a job done right. When our team at Virgin wanted to go to space, I looked for the best engineer in the world to help us build a spaceship. Once we’d connected with Burt Rutan, creator of the revolutionary SpaceShipOne, we were able to get to work on creating Virgin Galactic,”entrepreneur.com blog.
Personal Contact is Key
Business is all about personal contact. It is difficult to build trust based relationships with people you have never met, especially when you want to engage or partner with them in deals of significance.
“Succeeding in business is all about making connections. While we at the Virgin Group have never hired anybody whose job description was limited to making internal and external contacts, it is implicit that almost everyone on staff has these skills. This has helped Virgin to expand into so many different industries, from music to mobile phone services: As we build connections in other areas, we have been able to grow our expertise and multiply our reach.”
“Business is all about personal contact. No matter how heavy your workload is… everyone can and should be a networker.”
This rich networking ability has been a constant feature in the history of Virgin, with the group’s oldest and youngest businesses all benefiting from a swift ability for employees to forge strong working relationships.
You Need to make time to Network
“Business is all about personal contact. No matter how heavy your workload is, do not allow yourself to work in your cubicle or office all day, every day – for your own well-being and the health of your business, you need to get out and about, meeting people and developing relationships. If you discuss a work matter with an employee or a potential client over coffee rather than simply sending over an email, you’re more likely to build rapport, which will be useful if you ever need to tackle any problems together. Good managers give their teams the freedom to set their own schedules, realizing that the same is true of employees’ relationships with their co-workers and the company’s clients,”
Richard Branson is unusual in that he has built an empire of multiple businesses – music, airlines, finance, gyms etc. This is because he because he is an avid networker and has been able to connect people and leverage their desires and goals for all their benefit.
So if you are tossing up wether you should be networking this year or not, ask yourself, “What would Richard Branson do? “
Check out our networking events at www.therealbiz.com.au/events