Learn how you can achieve your goals with Chi Chi Okezie’s advice

Networking continues to be a huge asset for development, advancement and fruitful relationships. It is important to cultivate a proper, progressive and positive mindset toward networking. This article dives into the critical elements of a winning networking mindset, including taking practical steps to stay on course and reach your goals and objectives.

Belief Systems and Values

Do you view networking as a necessary evil, something to do casually, or as a cornerstone to your development? If you have negative views around networking, how can you mitigate them? What actions can you take to transform your way of thinking to produce positive results? Reflect on the following questions to gauge your attitude and thought processes:

  • Do I value networking?
  • Do I understand the importance of networking?
  • Am I familiar with how networking can benefit me?
  • Am I concerned about nurturing my networks?
  • Am I willing to make a conscious effort to build a viable network?

Circles of Influence

It is a common cliche but holds true: “Birds of a feather flock together.” What type of company do you keep? Who is in your inner circle(s)? Do you spend most of your time with like-minded people? These people can shape and impact your behaviors. Research shows that having a strong network or support system is valuable for a person’s physical, mental and social health. Leaning on these types of resources allows you to stay on course, reach your goals and support others. It can also build your stamina for being resilient.

Below are ways that you can connect with like-minded individuals:

  • Through formal or informal mentor programs via work, professional associations, networking groups, etc.
  • Organically by personally reaching out to an individual
  • Through alumni associations or affinity groups within your alma mater
  • By asking for leads / referrals from friends and trusted colleagues
  • Through accelerators or cohorts in certificate or educational programs
  • By following experts / thought leaders

Defeating Negativity

Do not leave your networking to chance. To have a winning networking mindset, be proactive. Be strategic, mindful and calculated in your methods. Set specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable and time-bound goals (SMART goals). Be intentional about correcting negative thoughts and speech (both internally and externally). Make it a point to be aware of how you are navigating through your processes, agendas, functions, etc. After attending meetings, sessions and events, evaluate your activities. Learn how you can improve your approach to reach your goals. Reward yourself for your consistent efforts and be committed to improving.

Below are a few positive affirmations to reinforce your mindset:

  • I am optimistic about my interactions and steps towards success.
  • I am being patient with myself and offering grace and understanding.
  • I can achieve my goals and help others in my network.
  • I am constantly evolving and getting better.
  • I am becoming more self-aware and protecting my health and wellness.

Use these tips and practical advice to make the most of your endeavors in the way you view networking. Check and/or update your beliefs and values. Make sure that they align with all your aspects of networking. Surround yourself with an efficient support system. Link up with like-minded individuals who can assist you and vice versa. Be strategic in the way you connect and seek out individuals in your inner circle. Challenge and strike down negative mindsets and habits. Consider, focus and meditate on these positive affirmations. Build yourself up and expand your levels of confidence. Be excited and eager to transform your thinking and gain amazing results.

Chi Chi Okezie is the owner and producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC, a consulting firm based in Metro Atlanta, GA, USA which specializes in business networking, diversity and inclusion. Her company was granted a Proclamation for Business Networking Day by ... (Read More)

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