No man is an island to himself. We all need each other to grow and excel. Building your centre of influence (COI) is one of the skills that will make you stand out and more marketable. Businesses and employment opportunities are done between human beings – and building a COI helps to accelerate our success. The more people we meet associate with, the likelihood of more ideas coming to the forefront. COI boosts your marketability, your credibility through word of mouth, referrals, testimonials and should that come from one member of your COI/Network is indeed incredible. More so, you can exploit lucrative opportunities which are available within your COI and this phenomenally increases your likelihood to succeed exponentially.
Why is COI important you may ask?
Your COI could be professional or non-professional, however, you do not want to restrict yourself to that area hence why you should look at joining charity organisations, clubs, associations and even that church/mosque. Doing this would help us build alliances in order to establish and achieve both our short term and long-term goals/benefits.
In today’s competitive environment, remaining in contact with your COI establishes lifelong support networks. You may be mid-career or may be looking at some other field of career – those networks become an intricate part and parcel of that whole strategy which brings change. Drawing support from your network during your career could potentially transcend to become lifelong friends and close family.
To become a highly-connected entrepreneur or professional, embrace these seven generosity-based networking habits to expand your reach, impact, and career/business.
- Be Proactive– create a compelling story create a finding impression, look to get active in community groups. Develop a criterion to finding the right and influential people in your industry, Tailor your message specifically to your network.
- Begin with the end in mind and identify your niche– Build a mutually beneficial relationship to improve your odds of being successful. Position the value you bring to your network.
- Put first things first – Consistently keep in contact with your COIs, updating them, and thanks to technology (email & calls) and social media which makes things easier. However, don’t be a nuisance. You are gradually building an impression of yourself in the minds of your COIs. Be generous to give value to those in your network; ask what you can do for them or their organisation.
- Think “Win-Win” – You are both there to win, be specific of the value and how you will both come out as a winner.
- Seek first to understand- Your trust in them and them in you comes from mutually agreeable ethics, morals, values. You want to be sure that as you share those commonalities, you build that trust and continually show appreciation to your potential COI.
- Synergise– Bring your strength, co-operation, results. It is the coming together of a mutual relationship.
- Sharpen the saw – learn from your past errors and try different approaches to building your network. Be open and think differently.