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Master the Art of Connection, Build a Powerful Personal Brand

Aha Moment: Making meaningful and memorable connections is your most powerful networking tool. [Tweet]

It’s true that you’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.

What impression are you leaving with the people you come into contact with?

Are you leaving them with any reason to remember you at all?

You never know how the connections you’re making now will benefit you in the future!

You may be forming a relationship that will set you up for success.

It’s all networking, whether you’re conscious of it or not.

When you fail to take advantage of every interaction you have, you’re diminishing opportunities for your personal brand to shine!

Do you know how to network across your organization to position yourself for personal success?

Here are some questions to consider to get you on the right path.

Key questions to ask yourself

These questions can help you to be more intentional with the people you come into contact with, professionally and socially.

Here they are:

  • Who knows you and what do they know about you?
  • Who are the people you don’t know that you need to know?
  • Who are the people you don’t have much communication with but are going to be strategic for you down the line?
  • What is the quality of your relationship with the most senior people in your department or organization? Are they the ones who can most readily influence your career in a positive way?

Giving some thought to these questions will help you to get a better grasp on how you want the people you’re in contact with on a daily basis to perceive you.

You want the interactions you have to positively affect the brand you’re building for yourself.

How to make it happen

Here are some ways to position yourself to form those important connections:

  • Stay informed. Listen to investor-relation calls and know what the CEO and senior leaders are thinking about and what’s keeping them up at night. Read press releases so you know what’s in crisis. Stay in the loop.
  • Be involved to create opportunities. Take any chance you have to attend an event where a senior leader is speaking, such as an open forum or a town hall. But don’t just attend  –  follow-up with them afterward. Sometimes it’s easier for you to get their ear as a person in the audience than it is to get an appointment with them. You’re creating opportunities for yourself by attending these events and showing your support.
  • Be a familiar face to the “higher-ups.” You should always know who your boss meets with, as well as who your boss’ boss meets with. Make sure that the people two levels above you know you exist and that you’re doing a great job  –  irrespective of what your boss says. Assess how well they know you and your work. If they don’t, create opportunities for them to get familiar with it or ask to be a resource. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss for greater exposure and to build alliances, too.
  • Beef up your profile. If your company has an online internal profile, similar to LinkedIn, for example, make sure yours is complete. Include your skills, interests, and any other information that will add value. Maybe you’ve been in a situation in which you’ve met a person who seemed like a great connection, only to have looked up their profile and found it sparse and lacking. This makes the individual a difficult referral. Don’t be that person! Be intentional about creating a profile that showcases your skills and spells out all the ways you’re an asset.

Your personal brand is an important part of your move up the ladder. Make sure you’re doing all you can to make meaningful connections along the way.

What aspect of making connections seems the most important to you?

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