Make Your Contacts Count

Lynne Waymon was a fabulous guest expert in the CFO–Career–Forum last Tuesday. I know that the attendees all walked away with at least one fabulous networking tip.

A few things resonated with me, and hopefully will with you as well.

Lynne mentioned that there are two things others look for in the people they bring into their network … character and competence. Here’s the “aha” moment of that fact. It takes six contacts with someone in order to build character and competence.

What’s important about that statement is that too many people only network when they “need” something, ahem, like a new job. It’s pretty clear that if it takes six encounters to build the trust you need to ask for help, then networking really needs to become a lifelong habit. A mere five minutes a day can significantly strengthen your character and your competence with people who are in a position to help you.

The second thing Lynne talked about, of which I am a huge proponent, is having your own personal Board of Directors. This is akin to a Master Mind group, a close group of networking colleagues who can hold you accountable to reach your goals while encouraging and motivating you along the way.

She says a good network produces, among other things, power and influence. This group of people can be the difference between having trusted colleagues open doors for you, or forever being forced to cold call your way in closed doors. Which do you think would be more effective?

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