RiseAccording to the dictionary – to rise is to move from a lower to a higher position; to ascend. To rise is to be prominent. To rise is to come into existence, to originate. To rise is to attain a higher status, to meet a demand or challenge. To rise is to return to life.

What a powerful word! If we use it in the context of what ConnectUs teaches our clients, we recognize that the word itself becomes the acronym for achieving success.

R – is for rapport
At ConnectUs building rapport is the first stage of networking. Getting a general sense of someone sets the stage to ultimately creating trust, support and connections more quickly in the networking cycle. Building rapport means that we must find our common denominators – what is there between us that we can recognize as a “shared” interest, goal or need? Using our W3 – Who am I? What do I need? What am I willing to share? - is often the beginning to building a mutually-beneficial relationship. We all like to help each other, harnessing the ability to build rapport results in moving easily to the next stage of networking where the flow of information begins.

I – is for information
Once common denominators have been determined, it is time to gather information that will make an effective, dynamic networking experience. This interaction develops a clear understanding of one’s requirements and fosters communication of resources available, typically resulting in brainstorming for opportunities. How one finds that information and what is done with it, is how we each utilize our personal resources in achieving success. At ConnectUs, we find using our ‘AHA’ Mind Map a valuable tool in the information sector of networking.

Knowing more about a person provides the opportunity to share resources more effectively. With a good rapport and a clear understanding of needs, we are able to continue to gather information using the Internet, checking web sites, associations, volunteer organization – everywhere that will help cement a relationship, and move that rapport forward into creating a business opportunity for both sides of the introduction. We firmly believe that ethical, effective networking is about creating a win on both sides of the introduction. It is not strictly about buying and selling products and services, but uncovering the opportunities that are beyond the obvious.

S – is for solutions
After building the rapport and finding relevant information that will be valuable to our connection the most exciting part begins - determining what solutions may be available as a result of this connection that answer the need(s) identified, or create unexpected opportunities for development. This part of the networking cycle is crucial. Networking must be a win/win for both parties in every introduction. In ethical networking, we work to ensure that both sides get a return on the time invested. It is at this stage of the program that mutual goals are set, action plans are developed and the connection moves into the results driven mode. Networking is one of the best tools available in rising to success when used correctly. It provides us with a roadmap of whom we want to know, what we can learn about that person and where we want to take that knowledge once learned. Using the tool kit ConnectUs provides, makes networking a skill that can be learned by those willing to make the effort.

E – is for ethical
Whether we use networking to further our education, grow our business, connect regions or industries, find employment or get engaged, networking must be based on integrity. We are in a new era, one that is based on trust and that trust must be earned. No longer can we refer colleagues strictly because we have their business card, or know their area of expertise, now we must know about their Social Capital.

Social Capital is knowing more about a person than title, company name and elevator pitch, it’s taking the time to understand not only what they do, but what they like to do. Uncovering their values and defining their hobbies, special interests and in some cases what goals they have set for themselves.

At ConnectUs we practice the “art” of effective networking. We recognize the importance of our communications styles and the stages each of us must move through to complete the cycle of ethical networking.

In this new culture of integrity – no longer can we just assume that exchanging business cards is all that is needed to obtain the contacts and referrals we need. Now, we must not only build and nurture the rapport, we must make sure that we find ways to help the other person with their goals and objectives. Networking has become a skill that needs to be learned, it is a process that has a beginning, a middle and an end. It is measurable and if we don’t get the return on investment that we need – chances are we aren’t really looking at networking as an equation where there must be a balance.

If you want to RISE™ above all the rest, and become part of this new culture of integrity send us an email. In the subject line state “I want to become part of the new culture of integrity” Training programs are available for education, business and personal growth. We measure your success – it’s important for us to have you meet and exceed your goals.

Remember, according to the dictionary – to rise is to move from a lower to a higher position; to ascend; to be prominent. To rise is to come into existence, to originate. To rise is to attain a higher status, to meet a demand or challenge. To rise, is to return to life.

RISE™ is proprietary and is delivered by certified ConnectUs Network Counselors.

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