What do you do in networking to stand out from other people? And how do you make stronger connections with others?
When I started in business, I experienced being uncomfortable networking. I felt like a fish out of water. I couldn't bring forward all of my previous success, all my previous expertise, or my natural confidence.
In traditional networking, you have to show up as your title or show up as what you do or whatever is on your business card.
However, if I just showed up as who I am, then the people I meet get all of me. The same is true for you. If you show up as who you are, there are so many benefits to doing that. However, we typically show up as what we do, not who we are. The trouble with showing up as what we do is that the labels confine us. It puts us in a box. Whatever the other person’s definition of what that title is, that’s what we have to be or that who we are in their eyes.
Surface Level Connection
When titles or labels are shared, it causes a block in the connection. Imagine trying to connect with people, but it’s only surface level. That inhibits us because networking is about connection.
When we network with people and there’s no connection there, we move on. But the truth is, you just looked at surface level connection. (I’ve been guilty of this.) There actually is more, deeper below.
When you connect as your title, you miss out on connecting as a person. It's harder to make that deeper connection that would make you friends if you focus just on titles. Again, it's that surface level connection.
But when you show up as who you are, you can't be wrong because you're an expert at who you are. You just need to be you. You're not playing a part. When you ditch your labels and you focus on connecting as who you are, then you're not limited in connecting with someone based on those titles.
The Number One Thing that Turns Networking on its Head
Drop the titles. Stop showing up as your title. Stop showing up as what you do. Instead, show up as who you are. When you connect as who you are, you can get deeper in a conversation with someone faster. You can then find areas of connection where normally you wouldn't be able to. That helps you to follow up with them, to deepen the relationship and to find the areas of where you will help each other.
With titles, you’re limited to what it is. Titles go away. Titles are stripped from us. There are so many times in our lives that we lose our titles, but we don't need to lose ourselves. If you always show up as who you are and connect with others as who they are, you will set yourself apart. You will increase your Know, Like, and Trust factor. You will take the walls down and that connection on a deeper level will mean that the other person you meet networking will want to do life and business with you. When you connect as who you are, rather than what you do, you can be an equal in any situation.
Now what does that mean to do life and business with you? Doing life with you can mean going for a walk. It could mean going to a painting class together. What does it mean to do business together? I think you know all the different ways, but the main way that people are looking for is the sales transaction (which doesn't always happen).
But could someone support you in another way? For sure!
There are so many other ways that people can support you in your business and you can support them.
I encourage you to show up as who you are. BUT how can you connect with other people by showing up who you are? I’ll cover that in my next blog. Stay tuned!
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