Strategic Networking for Higher Engagement and Influence
Strategic networking, in the simplest words, is a planned development and use of an individual's network to achieve results. This is a fast-growing trend in today's time where people relations sit at the core of all industries. Nurturing relations and utilizing them in a tactical manner allows individuals and organizations alike to realize long-term goals and purpose-driven growth through value augmentation and partnerships.
Since these benefits are substantial for any business, networking in a strategic manner is gaining prominence with time. In this scenario, the question that arises is- ‘How can one build these useful networks?’
Ways to strategically build the network
The first step towards building a valuable strategic network is to analyze your existing network in terms of diversity, strengths, weaknesses, etc, and review it to assess the areas that require attention.
The next step is to specify the goal that you wish to achieve through your collaborations. Now, evaluate the gap that exists between where you are and where you need to be to realize your goals. Most importantly, invest in improving your social and engagement skills to bridge the gap by adding relevant connections and also improve the relationship quotient with the connections.
Why strategic networking is of immense importance in today’s date
"Your network is your net worth" is an age-old adage that is gaining increased understanding and awareness in recent times. The intricate work of a modern-day organization has once again highlighted the importance of networking in the career of a working professional. Be it a fresher or a CEO, all people that form the part of the corporate world have their own distinct set of advantages that they can derive from a vast and well-developed network. In the scope of this article, we highlight some of the many perks of strategic networking as prevalent in the present day context.
Benefits to one’s career
A comprehensive network opens up several professional doors for an individual. In the organizations of today, a candidate is assessed mainly on educational and behavioral, when it comes to recruitment or for promotion. Networking can help you gain visibility, express to a larger or meaningful audience and showcase your capability, which can, in turn, assist you in landing a desirable opportunity.
Further, the knowledge and experience of one’s network can be leveraged by an individual to enhance their own skill sets and knowledge. Connections can assist your career growth by pointing you in the right direction according to your skill sets. They can also help you develop in the areas you didn't realize you had potential in.
A good network consists of people who are experts and leaders in their fields. A wide network base of industry leaders brings in a diverse set of opinions and knowledge about the market trends and industry expectations. This can help individuals gain insight into the workings of an arena from an expert point of view and, can hence aid the analysis and forecasting processes of the industry for that individual.
By assessing accurately and timely, the shifts and changes that are prevalent or expected in a field, an individual can capitalize on the changes to bolster his/ her own career prospects.
Why not to miss Networking within the organization!
While external networking has been preached for its far-fetched importance, one must be aware of the many benefits of internal networking as well. Employees can network with peers, superiors, subordinates and acquaintances alike, to build a solid rapport with and gain influence over them. This helps in many ways like establishing better communication lines and also in maintaining amicable relations to command respect and trust. Humans are social beings and they thrive in a healthy, well-connected social environment. Networking for informal purposes too can boost productivity levels and moods of employees as it works to fulfil our social needs. Further, smooth and timely communication through both formal and informal channels in an organization helps to establish and maintain harmony in the organization.
A robust and diverse network can help to recruit and promote great talent. It can also facilitate smooth work and communication flows within the organization. Lastly, it can improve the influence, engagement and rapport between departments, superiors and subordinates. Strategic networking boosts the overall productivity of individuals and thus the organizations at large which in turn aids the revenues and profitability quotient.
Influencing the ecosystem
While adding more connections to your network is important, one must focus on improving the diversity, strength and connective potential of the network. This needs dedicating time and effort. Eventually, such a network provides high influencing capability. If the individual has an infinite mindset, he/she could start influencing beyond the scope of their organization or their individual network. Gaining such influence gives opportunity to quickly develop the business ecosystem and impact the industry. Leading transformation of the industry gives high leverage!