• Tracee Sheldrake

Intentional Networking

Women Network differently men.  Women connect and network on multiple levels including; children, family, business challenges, work life balance, etc.  Most often than not, Women like to see other women succeed.  There is still an acknowledgment of competitors although, with the preference of collaboration over competition.  As women, we definitely do business with those we know, like and trust.  There is a variety of reasons that Women in Business attend networking events.  There are those that they learn from, those that they enjoy social time with friends and like-minded women and those for more “Mastermind” Style networking; all of which are great reasons.  To attract more success in business, you don’t have to network more; you just have to network more intentionally. This means becoming more focused, engaging, trusted, and memorable. Not necessarily with more people, but with the people that you trust, support and align with your intention/goals.   Here are some ideas for Networking Success; 1. Know yourself. This is extremely important.  This involves knowing your strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, passions, preferences, and traits. Being authentic is key!!! 2. Know what you want. If you are vague or unsure of your vision, intention, and goals, then you are likely drifting along.  Clarity and focus go a long way to helping you become more memorable. 3. Be Intentional.  If you know the list of attendees or have an idea of who will be attending a certain event, come up with at least 2 people that would like to speak to in a more in depth manner and choose to connect with them at the event. 4. Focus on Quality Connections. Rather than adding more new people to your network, invest some time identifying your most valuable connections; the ones who not only bring you referrals and opportunities, but also provide you with valuable insights, information, and support. Don’t forget the person/people that helped you get connected in the first place and support them back.  5. Focus on Quality Networking. Take a look at all your networking meetings, events, etc.  Make a list of them and put them in categories of Connecting, Learning and Social.  It’s okay to go to multiple networking meetings, just know which ones are for fun, which ones help you build skills to build your business and which ones are for connections.  6. Give First. Show genuine interest in other people by being the first to say hello, offering a professional handshake, and engaging in friendly conversation. Ask questions that show interest. Then take the time to actively listen to what others have to say. 

By Tracee Sheldrake

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