This Is The Secret Skill Every Successful Career Woman Needs To Know When Networking
We’ve all faced a crisis of confidence and had words of support uttered in our direction.
From ‘faking it’ to power dressing, making your way through a fog of apprehension and a crack in your confidence can be terrifying.
Especially when you’re trying to appear cool, calm and collected while networking.
Writing for Time, founder of Running With Heels (an event series for women executives and entrepreneurs) Jenny Powers has told women that the most valuable networking skill is to stop pretending to be someone else, and to start being you.
Powers argues that although it may seem intimidating, people relate best to those who are genuine, honest and open – and leaving behind the false pretences will make you appear more genuine, approachable and confident.
While it might sound difficult approaching a business event for the first time, Powers gives four top tips to help you ease your way around the room:
- Set goals – Know what you hope to achieve from the meeting and where it fits with your long-term goals. If you want to make an acquaintance, ask a question, or look for some advice or recommendations, have the end goal in mind and know how you plan to tackle it
- Dress Comfortably – While it’s important to dress appropriately for the event, stick to items of clothes you feel most confident wearing. Dread wearing skirts or tailored suits? Opt for something that won’t leave you pulling at your clothes
- Have a Conversation – Networking isn’t always easy, but business doesn’t have to be all serious. Be sure to keep things conversational and relaxed. Not only will it help you to open up, but you’ll be better equipped to ask the questions if you build a rapport
- If in doubt, just ask – It might sound obvious, but this is your opportunity to ask questions and get answers. It’s ok to admit you’re not an expert, but be willing to look for information, inform yourself and ask for direction from more experienced attendees