Networking: How to Engage People and Keep Them Excited

This recent video by Tom Peters is awesome in its simplicity for engaging people:

If you are a job seeker, this is an important concept for you because you need to have an engaged network to have it truly working well for you. You want them to care about how things are going for you; if they care, they will:

  • tell you about more job openings,
  • connect you more often to people who may be able to help you, and
  • float resources your way as they find them.

Maybe you need someone to critique your interviewing skills. Perhaps you want an opinion about clothing options for an upcoming interview. Whatever the need, going to your network and asking them “What do you think?” will immediately engage them in your job search.

But asking that question is only part of the success of networking. Once you get them engaged, you need to keep them excited. So how do you sustain their enthusiasm to champion you?

Really listen to the answers you get and then implement them.

Now, I’m not saying that you should enact every idea that is given to you — some of them might not be a good fit for you, and folks do recognize that. But if you keep asking people for their opinions and then not doing anything with their suggestions, their excitement will flag because you aren’t being sincere in wanting to know what they think. You’re just paying lip service to the concept of asking for advice.

Honestly, how would you feel if someone kept asking for your opinions but never acting on them? You’d think, “What’s the point? I may as well not even bother because it doesn’t make a difference.”

Does your network feel like it’s making a difference for you? How well are you engaging and exciting them?

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