Life = the people you meet + what you create together. So says Christine Comaford-Lynch in her new book Rules for Renegades. That’s why networking is such an essential part of doing business. Five-time CEO Comaford-Lynch didn’t always love networking, but once she mastered the essentials it became much easier. Here are a few of her top networking rules, gleaned from 20 years’ experience in operational high-tech positions at Microsoft, Adobe and Apple, among others.
- Equalize yourself with others. Just because someone is powerful, wealthy or well known doesn’t mean he or she is better than you. Practice equalizing yourself with others, and remember that this will allow you to more comfortably interact with them.
- Build your networking momentum. Talk to people all the time: in line at the grocery store, on an airplane, while buying a suit. Not sure how to start? One way is to offer a compliment. There’s always something attractive or admirable about a stranger. Be sincere about it.
- Join a group. Industry associations, for example, are great places to network. Also consider peer-networking groups, such as TEC or EO.
- Do the drive-by schmooze. Parties, conventions and groups of all sorts are great opportunities, but sometimes you’ll be tired, not in the mood or have too many events in one evening. So, “timebox” your networking: every 30 minutes, do a check-in to determine if you need to stay any longer.