Hello! I will start by saying let this be a happy day to every mother out there! Now that we have covered that and before I jump into tips on how to make lasting relationships/connections with people, am excited because I just got a bike today…yay! I can’t wait to start riding it! Now back to the topic of networking. This subject kept coming up to me when I was trying to sleep but I chose to write about it today.
Disclaimer : I am not a behavioral psychologist but most of the things I will say here do not require a degree in psychology, instead, it takes experience. That being said, proceed at your own risk – there is no risk involved!
From my personal experience with networking and making connections, I believe that these steps can help you make lasting friends for the first time:
- Stop hiding behind a fake online ID – Yes, I said it. I understand some people worry about the bad guys out there who might be spending their time trying to ruin their victims’ reputations but that is not enough of a reason. I believe people find it easier to relate to someone who is true to themselves than one who hides behind a screen name. Don’t get me wrong here, I think everyone likes to be secure online. So, use your real name unless otherwise.
- Talk less, listen more – Let us be honest here; some people talk a lot. It can get really annoying in no time. One advisable thing to do when trying to make genuine connections with people is to avoid drawing attention to yourself – you will come out as a self-centered person. Many people don’t find that amusing. Instead, let others talk but make sure you participate in the conversation. Do not be the guy who keeps quiet while others talk.
- Carry a business card with you – I know, not all of us have businesses or websites to talk about. Here is a good reason to have a business card without a business; use vistaprint to get Free business cards, and label them with words like My Future Company or Simply Networking and make sure to list your interests briefly. If you don’t have anything to give to your new friends, they will easily forget you and you will be asking yourself why you feel like a lonely creature every passing year and getting no answers.
- Understand people’s personalities and interests – This includes what they like and hate. I normally find myself enjoying connections with people who have the same interests(software developers) but I have learned that there is more to life than programming. Trying to talk to an English teacher about how Ruby programming works or how you hacked something cool the other night might make a bad impression for obvious reasons. After meeting so many people and making incredible connections, I have come to realize that I am not alone especially as far as life challenges are concerned. We are human beings who bleed when hurt, laugh when tickled and need others to talk to when down. That is the bottom line, you are not different, neither am I.
- Weekly thank you notes or appreciations – The point I am trying to make is this : you have to keep your friendships or connections alive and stronger or they will fade away. All your efforts will be meaningless. If you don’t keep in touch with your new friends, or get together for lunch or coffee once in a few weeks or months, you will be wondering why you don’t have a single friend to talk to. This kind of thing makes people think that they are anti-social when in reality, they just don’t know how to make and keep friends that last. Wake up one morning and send a short email to someone, a friend telling him/her how you appreciate his/her friendship. Just make sure it doesn’t cross the “needy” level.
The list could be longer than this. The main idea is to be honest with people. Don’t lie about anything, don’t even try. That is not only immoral but just doesn’t work. You are dealing with real people here, not actors.
Perhaps I should also mention one more thing – if you use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, give people your honest opinions through comments, share their posts if you find them relevant. If you want people to share your own posts, it seems obvious to do the same to them. That is just how it works online.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you found it helpful.If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask through the comments. Please share this post with your friends using the buttons below. See you soon.