The Softer Side of Networking: Intuition

by Sabrina Risley

Often when we think of networking, we use a more logical, rational, and analytical mindset. We consider who we want to meet, the benefits we can reap in meeting them, and how we can strategically build our business. This is typical for entrepreneurs and business owners. It’s also the norm in what is taught and modeled by professionals. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, in fact, it is very necessary and can have a significant benefit to your bottom line.

Yet, I’ve had some very transformative experiences in recent months which have inspired me to explore more about the “softer side of networking” with others.  This side is less overt, rarely talked about, and even questioned by the rational side of our brain.

The softer side of networking shows up in a variety of ways, such as at a networking meeting when you are scanning the room looking for strategic partners to connect with.  Then, suddenly, someone whom you don’t know piques your interest. It’s almost a gut reaction. This person could now seem familiar, like you’ve met them before, even when you haven’t. You can tell there’s something about them. You can’t place it, but you just feel it. Perhaps it’s in what they are wearing, how they are holding themselves, or even their energy.

At times we dismiss these “gut” feelings and instincts and continue to scan the room and look for the most strategic person to meet. Or perhaps, we shy away from walking up to this person and making an introduction, for we are unsure of what to say or how to approach them. If you’ve ever felt this way about someone you’ve seen or met at a networking event, you’ve tapped into the softer side of networking.

This side of networking is about using your gut feelings, intuition, and maybe even your heart, to seek out new connections that really matter. These connections are ones that can’t initially be explained, but can lead to partnerships, friendships, and opportunity, if given the chance.

We can be surprised by what we find when we seek out new ways to meet people, follow our gut, and act on “that feeling.”  What we’ve uncovered to be true within our networking organization is that when people follow this style of networking and meeting with new people, they really begin to cultivate connections that count.

Many times these relationships go beyond the typical business interaction and move into friendship.  These business associates, now turned friends, end up becoming a rich source of referrals.  Think about it, the more you authentically befriend someone, the more you want to support them.  When you meet a person within a business setting, you both come to the relationship with the understanding that your business is a priority and you can talk openly about your desire to find new clients and get referrals.  Unlike your every day friends, perhaps it’s easier to ask a business-colleague-turned-friend to support you in your work, than it is to ask a friend you’ve known for 20 years whom you don’t want to “bother.”

The thing to remember is that friendships and connections take time.  Sometimes instant friendships and partnerships are born, but most likely the relationship will need cultivating.

You can easily create connections that count using the softer side of networking by following your gut, listening to your intuition, and seeking out deeper, more meaningful relationships within your network.  The next time you see someone who sparks your interest, even for reasons unseen, seize the opportunity to make the connection.  You’ve got nothing to lose and perhaps so much to gain.

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range that attract professionals who network to give rather than get. You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business. Sign up for Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success at http://www.behindthemooninc.com/index.php/free-report.

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About Sabrina Risley
Sabrina Risley is a master connector. She’s been hosting live networking events since 2004 and has welcomed 20,000+ professionals to those events. She shares her observations, insights and tips of how the top 2% of effective and magnetic networkers build their businesses. She also shares what NOT to do when networking. Get her complimentary e-book: Strategic Networking for Success.

2 Responses to The Softer Side of Networking: Intuition

  1. Happens all the time! Great article Sabrina. I now get super curious about the things that catch my eye. I will often tell people I approach that I don’t know why I was drawn to them, but it will be interesting to see where it leads us. By acknowledging the intuition I relax the other person because he or she is getting curious, too.

  2. Lorraine… that is great feedback. Keeping an open mind as to where it leads us is outstanding. Thank you for your input! Sabrina

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