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Lewis Howes said, “One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action.” If you don’t like meet and greet networking events, working with a colleague can help you navigate these experiences more easily. As Lewis Howes said, providing value to someone is the key factor in succeeding in networking. Partnering with a colleague at both in-person and online events can augment the way you achieve your networking goals.

Make the Right Choice

You need to have a strategy in place when choosing your networking partner, so you pick the right person who works well in a symbiotic professional relationship. Don’t work with someone who you consider to be your competition in the workplace.

•   Compatible – Your networking experience will be more successful if you work with someone who is compatible with you and your professional goals. This person should have a similar desire to excel at networking and have an understanding that working with a partner can improve your chances of networking success.

•   Single-Minded – Find a partner who has a dogged mindset to proactively network with you during these events, because inactivity won’t help you to accomplish your professional goals.

Create One Action Plan

If you’re working together with a networking partner, you need to be on the same page. If this person starts veering from the action plan in the middle of the event, that won’t help you–and this is supposed to be a symbiotic partnership. To prevent this from happening, you need to create an action plan and discuss how to implement it into your next networking event.

•   Truth – Stick to the facts and stay open when discussing all facets of the action plan with your partner. Discuss goals like making positive connections with leads or potential contacts, and how to work together to accomplish these goals.

•   Stay Accountable – You need to hold each other accountable throughout this process to ensure that you’ll both reach your goals. Keep in touch through texts or meet up at the midpoint during the event to ascertain how well, or not well, the action plan is unfolding.

Network Collaboratively

Act as one unit throughout the entire networking event. You may have to remind yourself or your partner during the event that you are acting as a team. Utilize the following two action steps when networking in this collaborative way.   

•   Duo Partner Method – Assign one person to speak to a contact first. Then the partner can step in after you introduce them. You can move on to another contact after that and repeat–or change up the order–of which person approaches contacts first.

•   Sandwich Technique – At the end of the event, regroup with your partner to use the sandwich technique for evaluating networking performance. Share something good that your partner did, what they could do better, and end with another praise or encouragement. Be open and receptive when they share their thoughts on your performance as well.

Change the Way You Network

You can enhance the way you network by following the tips discussed in this article. Working with a partner can be encouraging as you work towards accomplishing your networking goals at both in-person and online events.