Mackay Maxim: The really big networking mistakes people make in their lives come from the risks they never take.
One of the most important things you should do is share information with your network. From water cooler gossip to informal conversations, staying connected with all of the people in your network can help create a web of useful information and collaboration that you can rely on in the future.
The hierarchy of many companies and professional settings restricts certain people from sharing information with one another. By the time a lower department sees something, it can be old news to the higher-ups. I see these companies crumble when it comes to networking, fostering a healthy work culture, and communication – simply because they don’t talk to each other.
Sharing information with one another is crucial to practicing successful networking.
#1: Sharing Boosts Your Credibility
One of the main keys to successful networking is maintaining a good level of credibility among your connections. If they don’t see you as a credible person, you won’t get much out of your network. It’s as simple as that. Sharing information you know to be accurate and that you have the ability to share will boost your credibility ranking in the eyes of your network.
This information does not always have to be the juiciest tidbit you can scrounge up. Something as small as mentioning that you passed through their hometown and picked up a copy of their community newsletter, sharing something you read in that paper, will signal to your network that you pay attention to them and what they would be interested in.
Shy away from sharing information that you know you should not share or sharing inaccurate information. Doing so will have the opposite effect – instead of seeing you as credible, your network may see you as untrustworthy.
#2: Sharing Goes Both Ways
When you share information with someone, this opens up a natural line of communication between you and the other person. As a result, you can engage in easier and smoother collaboration than you would be able to achieve if you hadn’t spoken in years.
Networking is a two-way street, and anyone who knows the importance of these connections understands that what goes up must go back down. If you share important and vital information with another person, they will feel compelled to provide the same level of communication back to you.
#3: Sharing Helps You Foster Good Connections
One of the most important aspects of networking is maintaining strong relationships with the people you are connected with. You want to send regular greetings, catch up at industry events, ask about the wife and kids, and so on. You need good communication with your network – and regular sharing can help you accomplish this.
If you share information with your network regularly, it’ll be easier to remember to say hi every once in a while. In fact, you can kill two birds with one stone by checking in while sharing information. As a result, you grow closer with your network due to regular contact. Proximity is everything.
Sharing is a key component to fostering strong relationships within your network. Sharing can help you become more credible in the eyes of your connections. In addition, sharing opens you up to future collaboration and helps you maintain a good level of communication among your partners. For best results, practice sharing whenever you can!
Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.
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