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5 Simple Tricks to Transform Your Networking Skills

5 Simple Tricks to Transform Your Networking Skills

Networking is essential; it’s a crucial skill that needs to be refined, no matter what stage of life you’re in. It can help you professionally by landing you a job or a client and personally by enabling you to build up a strong social network, giving you certain recognition among your peers. Networking may be time consuming, but what you can get out of networking makes it worthwhile. To some, networking skills comes naturally; however, most of us have to work on refining such skills. If you’re a services professional, you can better understand the importance of networking, developing relationships and referrals. One of the most effective ways to improve your career prospects is to brush up on your networking skills.

Here are several tips on how you can transform your networking skills.

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1. You MUST follow up after meeting.

The simple way to follow up is that before your conversation ends, you should have already arranged a follow up. You can accomplish this by promising to email a press release or copy of an interesting article, so that you can avoid the awkwardness when you want to contact someone but have no reason to do it. While meeting someone, if you discussed a particular topic, maybe you could do a little further research and send them an interesting article or point out a new blog on the subject.

At an event, exchange business cards or contact details with your new contacts. The next week, always remember to follow up with an email or phone call. Put your efforts to maintain the relationship; otherwise, you haven’t really networked at all.

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2. You should use Social Media to connect.

With the frequent usage of web content over the last few years, there are millions of people who exchange their information through social media sites that offer email, news and updates on any topic under the sun. There are so many websites that facilitate networking among the professionals, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and InMail. These websites allow you to network with people who are not only from your profession, but of other professions as well. You can also connect with people who are senior to you; you are not limited to people of the same job status.

3. You must not overdo it.

You need to make a regular habit of reaching out to new people and connecting with them, even if you can’t find that many events to attend in your area. There’s always email, phone calls, and one-on-one meetings; you should strike a balance and ensure you don’t overdo it or people will start avoiding you. Also remember to keep in touch with your existing network.

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4. You should have an open mind.

There are going to be people who will decline your follow ups or will ease out of your first conversation. Don’t be disheartened. Learn to let it go. There are going to be people in your life who you will just not click with—accept it and move on. Someone you might not like could be a great networker and surprise you with how helpful they can be.They might become your potential avenues for building some good contacts, including your student alumni, family and friends.

5. You should not get discouraged.

For some, networking skills are innate, and for others, they have to be developed. You should not get discouraged if you have trouble networking. Instead, be observant of your mistakes and learn to correct them in the future. Also, get help from your friends who have excellent networking skills, observe them and imitate them in certain situations to get a boost of confidence.

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Remember, the key to networking is giving information, advice, your services, and your personality, and after this, you’ll be well on your way to establish strong, lasting business relationships.

Featured photo credit: www.sundaymag.tv via sundaymag.tv

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

What to have for dinner tonight?

Which route to take to work?

How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

For example:

If the problem is “always late to work”…

  • Why am I late to work?
    I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
  • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
    I feel so tired in the morning.
  • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
    I slept late the night before, that’s why.
  • Why did I sleep late?
    I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
  • Why did I drink coffee?
    Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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3. Simplify Things

As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

5. Think Laterally

Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

The Bottom Line

There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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