Netzwerken - Kontakte knüpfen für den beruflichen Erfolg.
Netzwerken ist in der heutigen Welt eine unverzichtbare Fähigkeit und ein wichtiges Werkzeug. Netzwerken auf Englisch… so geht’s:
Networking is an essential skill in today’s world and is a key trait of successful business people. Yet, for non-native English speakers who find themselves thrust into an environment where they should network in English, the prospect could be extremely intimidating. Today’s post is focused on getting over that fear, and helping ESL learners feel prepared to take on basic networking conversation skills.
1. Be prepared to introduce yourself- and do it well! Business networking is all about first impressions, and introducing yourself for the first time is the sure-fire way to make a positive connection, if done right. Western business culture mandates that a handshake is the norm when meeting someone new in a business context, regardless of their gender. Be prepared for that, and for saying some of these conversational warmers:
-“Hello, I’m ___. What’s your name?”
-“Nice to meet you ____ (name of person)! Are you enjoying the event so far?”
“I work as a ___(title) at ____ (company name). Which company do you work for?”
Also be prepared to volunteer additional information about your job role and your feelings about work at your company, but remember to always be positive.
2. It’s not all about talking-be prepared to listen. Language studies have shown that of the 4 essential language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) listening is the one that is most often neglected when teaching English as a foreign language. However, in a networking event, it’s all about the listening!
Successful business networkers start by asking their new acquaintance questions about themselves, to show interest and engagement. Speakers should therefore prepare for these events by prepare questions to ask. Some common ones include:
- “What is your role at ___ (company)?”
- “What is your favorite thing about working as a ___ at ____ (company)?”
- “What is your opinion of the event so far?”
- “What do you think is the biggest business trend in ____ (type of business sector) right now?”
Non-native speakers should then be ready to listen for the answer and pick up conversational cues from is to find common points of interest with their new acquaintance.
3. Show genuine interest in the other person’s answers. Networking is all about forming positive, interesting connections. If your conversation partner has answered some of the questions above, make sure you respond in a way that shows you truly understood them and are interested in what they have to say. Responses could be:
- “Oh, that’s interesting. I’ve heard good things about ____ (company they work for).”
- “I completely agree. That’s very similar to why I enjoy work at ____ (name of your company).”
- “Yes, I’ve really enjoyed that part of the event as well!”
Remember to smile, be positive, and don’t forget the person’s name! This could be a really valuable connection for something in your career further down the road. In the next post, we’ll cover some further networking tips to help break the ice in the conversation, and
how to ask for further business connections.