We can strengthen our families, communities, and nations through the associations we make. When we associate with other people and get to know them better, we make connections with them, connections that strengthen all involved. When we teach our rising generation to make connections, we strengthen them and their future connections. These connections are essentially networking.
My current assignment in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to work in the Employment Resource Center (ERC). My duties include helping other people to find and use all the resources available to them as they search for a job or for the opportunity to upgrade their current work situation. In my assignment I have the opportunity to study many articles associated with employment.
A recent article giving tips for networking helped me to realize another way that “employment skills” can help us in our everyday life. The subject of the article is “5 Quick Tips for More Confident Networking.” I read these five tips and realized they are skills that all of us need in our lives whether or not we are looking for employment. (1) “Know how to break the ice.” Imagine how this skill could help a pre-teen or teenager in their social lives. What do they do when they walk into a room where they know few people? “A simple `Hello, my name is _______’ is more than sufficient if said with a smile.” You could add, “So, what brings you here?”
(2) “Get warmed up.” A youth might have the desire to meet a handsome hunk or a beautiful girl. Before they walk up to that person, they should make “a few practice swings. Make sure you talk to a few people before you hit up your main target – it will ease your nerves and make you feel more comfortable.” “The moment you walk into the room, just start chatting it up with someone to warm up a bit. Before you know it, you’ll feel comfortable chatting up [anyone].
(3) “Be aware of your body language.” We should all be aware of what our body language is saying because “93% of communication is non-verbal.” The following advice is given: “Don’t cross your arms. Keep a strong smile all night long. Hold strong eye contact.”
(4) “Ask great questions.” One of the best ways to avoid talking about yourself is to ask a companion about his or her life. Oh, you are on the debate team. What kind of rules do you have to follow in your debate competitions? Another question might be: What kind of music do you like? Why?
(5) “Have fun.” “Focus on having a good time. People will be attracted to your good attitude.”
When we know how to meet and greet people, we strengthen relationships with them and possibly with their families. When groups of people are connected, they strengthen their communities and nations.