What Harvard Taught Me About Networking
Four years ago, I was a grad student at Harvard Business School. Back then the importance of building strong relationships was ingrained in me, and the same principle remains true today.
Back then the importance of building strong relationships was ingrained in me, and the same principle remains true today.
At HBS I learned the most important aspect of networking is executive presence. It's that corporate “it” factor many Harvard grads know all too well.
This “it” factor is directly linked to the ability to get noticed, forge trusting relationships, and get others on board with your ideas and vision. So how does one even begin to cultivate an “it” factor?
So how does one even begin to cultivate an “it” factor?
There are some takeaways I have learned after many years in the field that will help improve your executive presence and lead to better networking interactions with others. The best way to communicate authentically, connect easily with people, and have an immediate impact is to be intentional, individual, and motivational in your message.
Make sure your actions are as loud and clear as what you are saying. In other words, your body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice should be perfectly aligned with what your words. Do not shrink back when you're in a group. Step forward and press into the conversation.
Be an Individual
Each person has their own unique story and telling that story well is what makes the most impact. Tell an authentic story of who you are, where you are from, and where you are going to draw people's interest and attention.
People need inspiration these days. If they find it in you, they will not only listen, but share your ideas as well. When you're meeting someone new be confident and passionate. Your attitude can be contagious and literally transform a new connection into something more.
“The camaraderie of coming together not only as a community within each city but as a larger worldwide network is one of the attributes that makes the HBS community truly special.” -Antonio Alves