Ah! I am not a people person", "I hate networking", "I don't have time"..
People give all sorts of funny excuses for not wanting to network. They owe this to this to the lack of knowledge of what networking can for them and also some myths and misconceptions.
If you have nurtured any of these myths, you must debunk these to take the full benefit of professional networking.
Myth #1- I need to be an extrovert.
“I am an introvert so introvert, so networking is not for me”, is the most common misconception about networking and most of the people abandon it before attempting it.
Myth #2- My work will speak for me.
Can you think of writing a blog and not sharing it? Can think of creating a product and not marketing it? How people will know what you do unless you told them. You cannot live in isolation and people appreciate your work at the same time.
Think of this scenario - If you are in an organization, all you do is sit with your neck deep in work each day and wait for appraisal and bonus. Whereas, your neighbour, Rahul, with the same job profile, walks around, talks to colleagues and bosses, and offers them help, gets faster promotions and appraisals. If you still think world is unfair and one day your work will speak for it, it is your pride and ignorance.
Myth #3 - I need to have gift of the gab.
Jack has got gift of the gab and can WIN hearts at every conversation. But Jim is man of a few words who wins people too with his few quips. It is now how much you can talk, it is about how meaningfully you can talk.
Myth #4 - Networking is only for elite and powerful.
Totally untrue. Networking is for anyone wants to grow and be successful. Whether you are micro entrepreneur, a big business owner, leader, or an employee at any level, you cannot grow in isolation. You need to build meaningful relationships. Afterall, people do business with people, people work with people.
Myth #5 - I should attend as many networking events as possible.
If you attend more events so that more people will get to know you. People call it visibility. Attending events need time and resources. So, effective networkers are pretty selective about what events they attend. Visibility is important, but it is so important to be visible in right places.
Myth #6 - I must extract as much as possible to be called an effective networker.
This is such a myth. Professional networking works just the opposite. To be an effective networker, you must be ready to devote time, give value and solve people’s problems.
Myth #7 - Bigger your network, better it is.
You should have as many contacts as possible. I say you should have as many deep relationships as possible. It’s not the width of your network, but the depth of your network that matters.
Myth #8 - My profession doesn’t qualify for networking
Whatever profession you might be in, if it is your objective to grow and be successful, you need people. You need relationships which makes networking an absolute necessity for you.
Myth #9 - Networking is about selling and pushing.
Oops! Don’t even try that. You will shoo people away by doing that. One thing you should never do while networking is selling. Let your competence and character talk about you. Networking is your pull strategy and not push.
Myth #10 - I don’t need any training for networking.
Don’t think that you will start networking and suddenly have a transition from a beginner to a nifty networker. Even if you think you are a natural networker, you still need special tools and techniques and a strategy to
be pro at it.