As we were brainstorming topics a few months ago, we thought of “networking” – this is something we are all striving to do yet have very little time to do and sometimes, it is just hard to do! We all agreed that Arjola was someone we knew to be very talented at networking since she always makes it look so easy to just meet new friends. So without further ado, here is our first guest writer’s article about networking!
3 Tips for Successful Networking: Think of a chrysalis morphing into a butterfly.
When you allow the natural process of building relationships to happen without forcing it, you nourish and create an atmosphere for successful networking. It’s not about getting what you want; it’s about creating a web of community and establishing partnerships. Like all relationships, professional networking also needs nurturing. Here are three suggestions to allow your connections to blossom and achieve a natural progression.
1] Be interested.
Avoid talking to people or going to events with the goal in mind to “network.” The world is very fast-paced, and full of interesting people and experiences. Genuinely listen to not just what others are doing, but also who they are. Be sure not to cut them off just to tell them about your goals and aspirations. Everyone you meet has something to offer so be ready to learn! Expand beyond your field and get interested in a variety of professions. This will introduce you to a wider audience of people. Being interested in others reflects on you and ultimately will focus the spotlight on your business. The pervasive use of social media, with peoples’ interest superficially reflected in the amount of “likes” one accrues, makes us forget that dealing with people face-to-face is not as easy as the click of button. Appropriate facial gestures, upright posture, nodding, eye contact, “hmm”, “so” are good skills to develop so that your conversation demonstrates that you are listening and shows others you are interested in what they have to say.
2] Be present.
Attend colleagues’ functions/recitals. Going to events is important; go to as many as you can. This is difficult in an increasingly complex world with many demands on our limited time. Still, physical presence is a sign of respect and communicates that you value what others have to offer. Others are likely to reciprocate when you give a concert or put together an event. And always dress professionally. If you are invited and are unable to attend an event, offer your sincere regrets in some way. This brings me to number 3…
3] Be thoughtful.
Write a follow up e-mail or better yet, a hand written note after meeting someone at an event. People gravitate toward others who are genuinely interested and are authentic in their praise and admiration. Give credit where credit is due. This fosters an environment of community and that you care about others. You will have your moment in the sun- another day. It’s as simple as “treat others as you want to be treated” and it’s amazing what can happen when we celebrate the achievements and value the accomplishments of our peers!
4] Oh, yes, remember to SMILE!
Founder and director of Play Academy of Arts, Arjola Miruku is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, NCTM. She is currently thrilled to make her residence in Jacksonville, FL pursuing her passion to provide a holistic approach to artistic training. For more information please visit arjolamiruku.com
Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at 4DPianoTeaching.com