Today I want to share something that won’t land you a job tomorrow (although it could) but is a long term process guaranteeing future career success. Here are the 5 steps you need to be a killer networker. 

Now this is assuming we’ve already gotten you to the event. If you can’t get out of your house, then nobody can help you.

1. Pay Attention

Give the speaker your undivided attention and acknowledge the message. Recognize that non-verbal communication also "speaks" loudly.

  • Look directly at the speaker
  • Forget any distracting thoughts.
  • Don't prepare a rebuttal.
  • Avoid distractions by environmental factors. For example, side conversations.
  • "Listen" to the speaker's body language. 

2. Show That You're Listening

Use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention.

  • Nod .
  • Smile. 
  • Note your posture and make sure it is open and inviting.
  • Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like yes and uh huh.

3. Provide Feedback

Our personal filters, assumptions, judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear. As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. This may require you to reflect what is being said and ask questions.

  • Reflect what has been said by paraphrasing. "What I'm hearing is," and "Sounds like you are saying," are great ways to reflect back.
  • Ask questions to clarify certain points. "What do you mean when you say..." and "Is this what you mean?"
  • Summarize the speaker's comments periodically

4. Defer Judgment

Interrupting is a waste of time. It frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of the message. Listen deeply and defer judgement.

  • Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions.
  • Don't interrupt with counter-arguments.

5. Respond Appropriately

Active listening is a model for respect and understanding of the other person. You are gaining information and a new perspective. You add nothing by attacking the speaker or otherwise putting him or her down.

  •  {C}Be candid, open, and honest in your response.
  • Assert your opinions respectfully.
  • Treat the other person in a way that you think he or she would want to be treated.

AuthorAndrew Argue