To be a successful networker, you need to have highly developed soft skills, or inter-personal skills, as well as a strategic perspective. Assessing your own abilities can be hard. But it helps to understand your own strengths and weaknesses before you try and improve your networking skills.
Below is a list of the soft skills you need to be able to network effectively. What I want you to do is score yourself on how well you think you do on each front.
Before you assess yourself, let me also point out that you should not take each of the following statements to extremes, as the overriding skill is to act appropriately in the situation you find yourself in.
Self rating – between 1 (low) and 10 (high)
I am trustworthy (1 – 10)
I am respectable and respected (1 – 10)
I am an active listener (1 – 10)
I am a good conversationalist (1 – 10)
I am an influencer (1 – 10)
I am confident (1 – 10)
I am a negotiator (1 – 10)
I am a problem solver (1 – 10)
I’m willing to engage (1 – 10)
I’m willing to share (1 – 10)
I can read others and respond accordingly (1 – 10)
I am a good observer (1 – 10)
I am good at including others (1 – 10)
I can keep confident (1 – 10)
We often want to pounce on the fastest opportunity to speak to someone we think can value add to us in our career and often overestimate the impact of the time we have to impress. The faster option would be to ready yourself, knowing your strengths and working on the weaknesses to strategize exactly how this opportunity be it 2-3 mins to make that impression and continue that conversation after the networking event.
Hope this helps!