Constantly look for opportunities to expand your network.
Don’t be reluctant to cast your net a little wider than your normal group, new connections bring different information and different people to your network. Look to professional organisations to expand your reach, make contact with charities, and consider other rich avenues.
Seek out the informal networks
Don’t always go for the structured planned approach, the informal ones are sometime more personal and more helpful.
Network with men as well as women
Evidence suggests women prefer to network with other women, but due to the boardroom imbalance, honing in on the same gender can limit the amount of top executives with whom to build relationships.
Use online AND real life networks
Love em or hate them, the first step for anyone today wanting to expand their network is to join LinkedIn! Having said that, for many of us meeting face to face for a coffee can’t be beaten – so be sure to do both.
Forget about the ‘Old Boys’ network and create ‘New girls’ networks
If you are finding it difficult to break in to one then set up your own.
Play to your strengths
Women are generally credited at being the best at building relationships, cooperation, listening, inspiring others, and showing empathy ...use them!
Note the personal stuff
Remember people’s hobbies, how you met, their children’s names, their latest holiday - that way, when you chat with them, you can say something that reminds them of your personal relationship.
Find ways to help others, and do it promptly
Surprise people by remembering to do what you said you would – simply sending on that article or passing on a helpful contact promptly.
Know how to ask for favours
Most people like to help others and at times may even become invested in your issue or challenge and check in with you to see how it’s going.
Never eat lunch by yourself
Don’t miss the opportunity to catch up with contacts, meeting new or strengthening the relationships you already have