She’s only 25 years old, but her ability to build professional relationships is enviable. What for some people requires a superhuman effort, for Veronica is almost second-nature. She’s open, projects a possessed self-assurance, and, above all, she has a powerful weapon: She loves to ask questions! That’s just her nature, but asking questions is an invaluable tool for anyone who needs to expand their network of professional contacts.
I met Veronica recently when she participated in one of my online seminars about mentors and networking. During the break, she bombarded me with questions ranging from what inspired me to write my last book and how I got the idea to start Latinos in College, to what I thought of her idea to start a nonprofit organization to help women in aviation. As it’s often the case with anyone who takes an interest in us, her curiosity about my experience and her eagerness to hear my opinions made her very interesting to me and in turn motivated me to ask her about her goals, her plans, and her dreams.
We Latinas tend to be naturally more extroverted and sociable. After all, we come from a part of the world where people don’t get anywhere career-wise if they don’t already know someone in the right place. So take advantage or your social “genes” to expand your professional network, by using Veronica’s strategy: Next time you’re at an event, play the role of a curious journalist. To maximize your effectiveness, research your “interview subject” a bit before approaching them (for example, if you’re going to hear the presentation of someone who interests you, look them up on Google to find out what relevant questions you should be asking).
And if you’re shy, this is the perfect technique to get you out of your little corner, because it will allow you to widen your network without putting you in the position of having to talk about yourself to strangers.
Try this strategy, and tell me how it goes!
Image via Thinkstock
This article was originally published on Mamas Latinas.