Let’s assume that you are out and about and networking regularly. What that means is that you consistently attend the same meetings. That is good. It is not possible to build deeper relationships without being consistent in your networking.
Yet, things aren’t coming together. You are spending the time, but you are not getting to have deeper relationships. As a business coach in Houston and The Woodlands I have had clients who get frustrated. In fact, over my career I have become frustrated, too. I join a group and believe that good things are going to happen, and they don’t.
The first thing you may do is start questioning yourself. This starts to bring in doubt. Doubt, if you are broadcasting it, is not fertile ground for building deeper relationships. Looking at yourself is a good idea, but over the years as a personal development business coach in The Woodlands and as a personal development business coach in Houston, I would start to look first at the groups in which you are involved.
Networking will become not working if you are in groups where the character of the people is suspect. If you sense a lot of uncertainty when you meet people in a group, it may be that you are sensing something suspect about their character. You must be around people of good character to build deeper relationships. Your personal development will be enhanced by their presence.
Another aspect that can take networking to not working are the goals of the group. If you are not in alignment with the goals of the group, or the processes they use, it is time to move on. It does not mean that the group is bad. It just means that it is not a fit.
If these first two check out positively, then look at yourself. Networking is actually a continuous course on self-improvement and personal development. To pass the course, so to speak, you must have good soft skills. Soft skills are how you communicate and relate to people with your words, your tone and your actions.
The soft skills in today’s hurry up world are left behind and sacrificed in the name of efficiency. Efficiency with communication, texts, emails, etc. are good, but if that becomes your sole focus, you lose effectiveness with others. People need to be able to capture your tone, your concern and that you care. You must listen. That happens more easily in one on one face to face communication.
What can cause networking to go to not working is when others feel that you are totally in the conversation for yourself and that you truly don’t care about them other than for the possibility of doing business and making a sale.
They feel like you have put a big dollar sign on their forehead. And when that happens it evokes a sense of being taken for granted. Once people feel taken for granted, they will start to distance themselves from you.
We have gone over some things that can take your networking to not working. Make sure to be in alignment with your groups that you are in. Know the character of the individuals. Are these people who will make you better? Take a look at yourself. Are you truly interested in them as a person? Practice good soft skills. Be not only efficient in your communication, but effective. Finally, truly care about others.
When you keep the above in mind it will prevent your networking from going to not working.