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Why we struggle with Networking?

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Why is it that something as valuable and potentially transformative as networking can often feel like such a daunting challenge?


In this exploration of "Why we struggle with networking," we'll delve into the common obstacles that hinder our ability to connect effectively in the professional world.


From self-doubt to misconceptions, we'll unravel the layers of complexity that surround networking and discover ways to overcome these hurdles.




| Studies have shown that nearly 70% of professionals find initiating conversations with strangers challenging, leading to difficulties in expanding their networks.



Networking is an essential skill for business professionals and entrepreneurs, but it's not always easy to overcome the common struggles that hold us back. In this blog post, we'll explore why we often find it challenging to network effectively and provide valuable insights into overcoming these obstacles. Let's dive in!


Conflicted about networking?



You're not alone. Many professionals have networking struggles and common networking challenges despite recognizing its value. There are common misconceptions and hurdles that prevent us from networking effectively.

Let's delve into three primary reasons why we encounter these challenges:

  1. Transactional Mindset: One of the most significant reasons we struggle with networking is our transactional approach. We often perceive networking as a means to secure business deals, advance our careers, or acquire something from others. However, adopting this mindset can create pressure, leading to self-doubt, reduced self-confidence, and strained relationships.

  2. Lack of Education: Most of us have never received formal education on networking. Networking is a skill that many learn through trial and error. This lack of structured guidance can make networking seem daunting, leaving us to fend for ourselves.

  3. Self-Doubt and Comparison: A core belief that plagues many individuals is that their ability to network is fixed. They compare themselves to others, thinking they lack certain attributes like charisma or extroversion. This self-doubt hinders networking efforts and creates a barrier to building meaningful connections. The good news is that networking is a learnable skill, irrespective of your personality type. You can overcome these struggles by understanding the value of authentic relationships and adopting a new perspective on networking.





Unlocking the True Value of Networking

Networking extends beyond business deals and career growth. Its real value lies in its applicability to every facet of life, including:


  1. Business Growth: Networking can significantly impact your business. It applies to building internal teams, fostering great leadership, and enhancing customer relationships. Your network can become a source of referrals and business opportunities that reduce the need for extensive marketing efforts.

  2. Career Development: Networking is equally valuable for advancing your career. A strong network can lead to mentorship, job opportunities, and valuable insights. Networking within your organization and with external clients is essential for professional growth.

  3. Personal Relationships: Networking principles aren't confined to professional life. They apply to personal relationships as well. Building and maintaining strong connections with friends and family can follow the same principles, enhancing the quality of your personal life.

To further enhance your networking skills, consider attending our workshop titled "Activate Your Network."



The mistake many make is thinking that their work alone will speak for them. However, the only unique selling point in your business or career is you. To thrive, you need to engage in networking to ensure your network is working for you. Success in networking doesn't rely on transactions but on building genuine relationships where you add value selflessly. Effective Networking Strategies

Now that we've addressed the challenges and emphasized the importance of networking, let's explore effective strategies to improve your networking skills:


  1. Pressure-Free Approach: Take the pressure off when networking. You don't need to make hundreds of connections in a day. Focus on incremental progress, and start by making small, genuine interactions. Consider reaching out to an old contact with a simple greeting to reignite the connection.

  2. Authentic Networking: There's no one-size-fits-all method for networking. Embrace your unique style and approach. Authenticity is key. Be courteous and professional, but don't try to mimic someone else's style. Your approach should align with your personality and values.

3. Overcoming Mental Blocks: Identify and address your mental blocks. Self-sabotaging beliefs can hinder your networking efforts. Work on your self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence. Remember, people appreciate authenticity, so don't let self-doubt hold you back.

By following these effective networking strategies and networking conversation starters, you'll become a more confident and successful networker. Networking is a skill that you can improve over time, and these tips will help you unlock its full potential.


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Conclusion:

Networking is a vital skill that, when mastered, can open doors and create opportunities. By understanding the challenges, recognizing the real value of networking, and applying effective strategies, you can transform your networking experience. Start with small steps, stay true to your authentic self, and watch your network flourish.

Remember, networking's real value comes from building genuine relationships, and it's a skill you can continuously improve.




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