Hello everybody, Coach Chris Cotton here from AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching.

Today, we’re talking about networking.

Did you know International Networking Week is February 6th through the 12th?

Networking is a process of making connections and building relationships. These connections can provide you with advice, contacts, which can also help you make informed business and career decisions.

Networking events are a chance for groups of professionals to gather information and make connections. Some are more casual and give people time to converse and others are more structured and can feature a lecture or presentation.

The purpose of these networking groups is for people to grow their network both in their respective industries and out.

Networking includes numerous benefits to the business professional: honing your skills by connecting with those who share your interest, they can help troubleshoot problem areas that you may not be able to see.

By also networking out of your usual circles, you can gain additional knowledge, skills, and connections. It can also help you advance your career and build career support.

One of the big things I like about it is confidence building. Like, if you have issues getting up to speak in front of people, or if you have interpersonal struggles and one-on-one gives you some issues, find a networking group and work on those things.

Also, help you develop a new perspective on certain things, can help give you referrals for business and personally, can help you develop lifelong friendships, and also help you develop mentor/mentee relationships, as well.

So, no matter how long you’ve been in the world of business, knowing how to network increases your profile.

So, what are some types of networking events?

They can be happy-hour meetups. They can be industry-specific seminars. Due to COVID and the pandemic and everything, we have a lot of virtual networking events. It can also be career fairs, conferences and trade shows, breakfast and luncheon meetings. It can also be community service groups.

You could even join a speed networking group if time is an issue.

There can also be workshops, round-table discussions, and the list goes on. What kind of skills does networking help you develop?

So, networking skills are the competencies you need to have to maintain professional or social contacts. Networking is a critical skill in sales, business development, and several other industries.

Networking skills are necessary to make and develop relationships with new contacts and promote something of value.

There are different skills that you can practice to become more effective at networking: communication, active listening is a big one, social skills, public speaking skills, nonverbal communication, interpersonal skills, empathy, positivity, humor, and focus.

So, some of the organizations that you could get into that help you or have networking opportunities, there’s a group online or an app called Meetup.

I think most people know about BNI but you’ve also got the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Toastmasters.

And actually, anywhere people meet is a networking event.

So, I want you to think about that, maybe go back, replay it, but most importantly, I want you to thank you for taking time out of your day today.

Again, this is Coach Chris Cotton from AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching. Have a great day, everyone. And remember, time to rise and grind, everyone.