Networking is the best way to further your career.

Although you can apply for jobs online, reach out to cold customers, or spend a fortune on an advertising bonanza, nothing can defeat the power of good networking skills.

Successful businesses depend on networking, but they also require something more. You need to know how to market them to get others to see what you can provide.

Best Networking Skills to Use Today

The three primary networking skills that people need are active listening, communication, and social skills.

Although every networking skill is essential, these three provide the foundation of every other you can develop for your arsenal.

Communication helps you exchange information with others to facilitate knowledge. It may include empathy, conversation, and direct messaging through email to convey the data needed for mutual growth.

Active listening enables an understanding of how someone thinks or feels. Instead of anxiously interrupting, you sit back to hear what others want to say. Once the individual stops speaking, you have the chance to rephrase what you’ve heard to ensure that you’re on the right page.

Social skills include the communication methods used to interact with others. It may be verbal or non-verbal, which means how you look can play a role in the first impression left for others. Maintaining polite eye contact, speaking with your hands, and concepts like honesty come into play with this networking opportunity.

Additional networking skills to consider putting into your toolbox include public speaking skills, interpersonal attitudes, positivity, empathy, focus, and humor. These traits all work to humanize your interactions with others to find places of common ground.

How to Improve Networking Skills Today

Networking is like one of your muscles. When you exercise often by lifting weights or using body resistance, you get stronger.

Your networking skills get stronger every time you work to improve them.

1. Practice your habits.

Networking skills are more than a natural talent. They are something you can refine with continued practice! It may help to focus on a particular improvement area, such as maintaining eye contact, to give yourself the tools needed to maximize success.

2. Ask for some feedback.

Practice your networking skills with family members, friends, and trusted associates. It helps to understand how you come across to others in conversation. This process can let you see where possible improvements might be available to make adjustments that wouldn’t get caught without the help.

Working with a networking group can help grow these skills with like-minded professionals who seek similar feedback.

3. Attend networking events.

Practicing your networking skills is the best way to keep improving them. Attend events when you can focus on building new connections outside of your current comfort zone. Think of some questions you could ask, maintain polite eye contact, and focus on quality over quantity when you begin to develop these relationships.

Every day is a new opportunity to work on your networking skills. If you make these ideas a priority for your daily routine, you may find it easier to achieve your short- and long-term goals!

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