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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 November 18, 2019

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

Everyone of my team members has a bucketload of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creativity tasks or problem solving tasks.

Despite having loads of tasks to handle, our team is able to stay creative and work towards our goals consistently.

How do we manage that?

I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours over the long term. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize:

The Scales Method – a productivity method I created several years ago.

How to Prioritize with the Scales Method

    One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.

    At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days.

    After she listened to my advice – and I introduced her to the Scales Method – she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:

    • She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles
    • She could publish all her articles on time
    • And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!)

    Curious to find out how she did it? Read on for the step-by-step guide:

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    1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning

    When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.

    My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning – but keep it short. Ideally, 10 or 15 minutes. This should be adequate to think about your plan.

    Use this time to:

    • Look at the big picture.
    • Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
    • Lay out all the tasks you need to do.

    2. Align Your Tasks with Your Goal

    This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective.

    It works like this:

    Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.

    By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.

      To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:

      Low Cost + High Benefit

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      Do these tasks first because they’re the simple ones to complete, yet help you get closer to your goal.

      Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.

      High Cost + High Benefit

      Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete. And then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.

      Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new diary-free protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting – aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g., spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).

      Low Cost + Low Benefit

      This combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kind of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.

      These are probably necessary tasks (e.g., routine tasks like checking emails) but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.

      High Cost + Low Benefit

      Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.

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      For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there they can make this process instant and seamless.

      Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:

        After listening to my advice, she broke down the High cost+ High benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):

          And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only – thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.

          Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks with Deadlines

          Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of achieving your goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be deadlines set by external parties such as managers and agencies.

          What to do in these cases?

          Well, I suggest that after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list with the deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.

          For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.

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          Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:

            Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to order them in lists of priority.

            The Scales Method Is Different from Anything Else You’ve Tried

            By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work, and most importantly – boost your productivity by up to 10 times!

            And unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefits. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefits combinations.

            Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be super-easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains, is that you kick off your next working day by following your new list.

            Trust me, once you begin using the Scales Method – you’ll never want to go back to your old ways of working.

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            Featured photo credit: Vector Stock via vectorstock.com

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