Do you have access to networking with top executives? Are you willing to go out of your way to connect with them? If so, then you’ll succeed at making a strong connection. In this blog post, we explore 7 creative ways that you can connect with CEOs, executives and other leaders in your organization. Whether you are an employee or a member of the external community, these tips will help you build stronger connections.
Be willing to do the hard work before you meet
In the quest to connect with the people who can help advance your career, it can be easy to rely on networking as your main means of interacting with others. Networking is an important part of professional advancement, but it’s not the same as building relationships with people. In order to build genuine relationships, you have to put in the time and energy before you make contact. That means finding a way to connect with the people who can help you before you ask them for a connection. If you’re willing to be proactive, you can make it happen. For example, ask to participate in a group project with someone, or get to know someone who is also interested in the same topic.
Find common interests and build relationships
The more time you spend building relationships, the more likely you are to progress your career. As humans, we are naturally drawn to other people who are interesting to us – whether it’s in work or in life. If there is something you and someone else share, that’s a potential connection. The goal of networking is to find common interests with other people and build relationships. When you do that, you open yourself up to making connections. To start building relationships, find something you and someone else have in common. It could be a hobby, a sports team they support, a book they’ve read, or a similar educational path. Find something that both of you have in common. Next, find a way to talk to that other person about what you both enjoy. You can do this with any type of communication, but let’s say you use email. Start by writing something that relates to what you both shared. You can do this by using a subject line that relates to what you both discussed. For example, if you both like baseball, start your email with something related to the sport. Then, once your email is open, write about something you both enjoy. By doing this, you are building a connection that could become a relationship.
Network with other leaders in your organization
Networking is important, but it’s also important to find other leaders in your organization who you can connect with. Even if you don’t have strong connections with your manager or your direct supervisor, there are likely other leaders in your organization who you can connect with. These could be your colleagues in other departments, or a member of the executive team. Networking can help you meet others in your organization who have access to resources that you need, whether that’s in terms of information or a connection to a professional influencer who can help you advance your career. Building connections in this way can help you move up the organizational ladder, advance your career and gain access to new opportunities. There are a few ways you can go about networking with your peers. First, you can go to a company event, such as a company picnic or party. You can also go to networking events, such as business mixers and conferences, where you can meet others in your industry and build connections with other leaders.
Be Proactive and Assertive
Networking with executives and other leaders requires a bit of hustle, but it’s worth it. Networking helps you meet people who can help you advance your career, but it also means that you have to put in the legwork to make those connections. To be proactive, you have to know who the right people are and how to approach them. You can research leaders in your organization and find their names, titles and contact information. Use that information to help you get in touch with the right people. To be assertive, you have to be confident. If you don’t feel confident approaching others, you will likely be shy and end up networking with people who aren’t high-level enough to help you. Instead, you have to approach networking with a level of confidence that comes from knowing the value that networking has for your career.
Be Strategic and Research-Driven
Networking is a great way to build connections, but it’s also important to be strategic about how you approach it. First, it’s important to research the people you want to connect with. Make sure you know as much about them as possible so you can approach them with confidence. Next, it’s important to be strategic about when and where you network.
Develop a Solid Network
When you build those connections, it’s important to maintain them. Take the time to follow up with the people you meet and make sure you are both maintaining the connection. If you know someone has access to a resource that you need, such as a connection to a professional influencer, be proactive and follow up with them. Doing so will help you maintain your network and keep those connections strong.
Host an Event or Series of Events
Networking can be an informal, informal way to meet people and build connections. It can also be more formal, structured networking events such as industry mixers and conferences. Depending on what type of event you attend, the people you meet will likely be of different levels in your organization.
Networking is a valuable way to meet people and build connections, but it also requires a level of hustle. Before you approach anyone, make sure you research them and build out a solid network. Then, approach those people with confidence and be strategic about when and where you network. By being strategic and proactive, you can build a strong network of executives, leaders and other professionals who can help you advance your career.