Improve Networking Skills: 2 Tips

Caller Two asks Jasbina Ahluwalia: Hi, Jasbina. I have more of an Intersections question in terms of professional networking and personal networking. It’s more of a cultural aspect.

Have you noticed for South Asians, whether they’re South Asian Americans or South Asians who were raised in South Asia and came to North America, any advantages or disadvantages in the networking arena?

If so, how have you advised them to either encourage those advantages or overcome the disadvantages?

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Jasbina Ahluwalia

Improve Networking Skills: 2 Tips

  1. Be open minded.
  2. Find a mentor.

 

Improve Networking Skills: Open Minded

I encourage people to have an open mind.

There may be biases or preconceived notions about who a South Asian is or what kind of person they are.

 

Improve Networking Skills: Be Yourself

Try to be almost like Teflon with that.

  • Be who you are.
  • Don’t feel like you need to be boxed in with anyone else’s perceptions of how they think South Asians should conduct themselves.
  • Conduct yourself as you’re comfortable doing.

Leave aside preconceived notions that others may have about that.

 

Caller Two

Thank you.

Often with South Asians, and this probably happens with other cultures as well, we’re not really taught how to network.

What you said makes a lot of sense. The advice you’ve given is great.

Are there other resources to learn those techniques and become more comfortable with them?

 

Jasbina Ahluwalia

Improve Networking Skills: Mentors

Look for mentors within your organization and within professional groups, depending on your industry.

There are tons of professional groups where one can join and look to senior leaders and mentors.

There are a lot of mentorship programs in professional organizations.

You may have mentors within your own organization. They come to mind in terms of how to learn those skills.

A lot of what we discussed will serve you as well.

 

Improve Networking Skills: Elevator Speech

Let’s pick something concrete, like the elevator speech.

One could practice that with colleagues or mentors to hone in on it. To some extent, it’s just practice.

Put yourself in that environment and, over time, you will hone those interpersonal skills and the harder skills, like developing an effective elevator pitch.

 

Caller Two

Thank you.

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Tell Us:

Do you think these two tips will help improve networking skills? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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The above is an excerpt from Aditi’s interview with Jasbina Ahluwalia.

The entire interview transcript is at: Jasbina Ahluwalia NetIP (Network of Indian Professionals) Interview – How to Network in Any Setting

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: NetIP Spotlight- Live Your Potential [How to Network in Any Setting - Jasbina]

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes

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