8 Rules to Build Strong Networks

Networking is an integral part of furthering your career. While it is an art, it is difficult to master. Some people tend to have a natural knack for getting along with and others; however, many struggle to find the apt thing to say in different environments. Hory Sankar Mukerjee, the author of The Gift of The Gab, underlines the necessity of good communication, in a world where it means different things to different people. He journeys through various aspects of communication, from using specific vocabulary to better listening skills.

Through this, he gives several rules for Networking. Some of which are:

Rule number 1: “If you are confused on how to make a start, focus on what you can offer. Everyone has something to offer”
In case you feel there is nothing to offer, ask what you can do, how you can help. These things sustain the relationship.

Rule number 2: “If you have sent a connection request to someone whom you felt the need to connect with, and they did not accept it, just move on.”
At the same time, be aware of what your contribution to any relationship would be. It can even include a mere recommendation to a restaurant.

Rule number 3: “Wait patiently either to seek help or help out people. Just be in touch.”
It is not necessary to maintain a constant chase of returning favours and doing them. It is possible that you do not need help from someone for years and that they don’t either. It is just important to maintain contact so that whenever the need arises you aren’t stuck in muddy waters.

Rule number 4: “Project an image that is right for your target audience. Remember that it is your personal brand. You are projecting a picture of yourself and personifying it.”
Control the manner in which you project yourself. Ensure that you highlight those attributes, achievements and interests which will attract the other the most.

Rule number 5: “You do not need to spend extra time to network. You are networking every hour.”
Every individual you talk to can be a contact. Be it the grocer, janitor, professor, neighbour, etc. You don’t need to especially allot time and space to build a network. It grows every time you speak to anyone if you choose to let it.

Rule number 6: “Building relationships with people much before you require them is networking. You may or may not benefit from the relationship immediately, but still, you wish to share and help with your knowledge.”
Networking requires you to nurture a relationship. It isn’t an abrupt request fulfilling machine. You build relationships over a period of time and foster them to have a healthy give and take bond. Getting something beyond the books, or asking for a request right in the start is not considered networking.

Rule number 7: “Ask yourself this question, ‘can we derive mutual values and benefits, and can I be of some help to this guy?’ The second question you must ask is, ‘do I feel positive and energetic to meet this person and is it worthwhile maintaining a relationship with him?’”
Maintain fruitful relationships and give them more importance. It is not necessary that everyone you make an effort to connect with will reciprocate the favour. It is important that you do the same and prioritize.

Rule number 8: “The first [step] is to a warm-up conversation, the second is to continue the conversation and maintain the relationship and the third is to help the person or seek his help.”
Hence, the art of networking is a process which entails careful carrying out of steps. It is not very hard but it’s important to follow the basic structure acceptable by people so that you can reach out to people in a better way.


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