We are all busy. So how do you include internal networking in your networking strategy when it is not at the top of other people’s priority lists? They have other things to focus on like actual work, networking with clients and their personal lives.
Keep your office interactions short
Be mindful that people have other things to do and have other commitments. So chat briefly but on a regular basis. Watch for body language for tell-tale signs that they want to bring the conversation to a close. As you get to know people better, you will learn what works for others and whether they are happy to simply chat.
Suggest breakfast or lunch for in-depth discussion
As you get to know someone you will get a good idea of their time-table and what works for them in relation to getting together for longer/more in-depth conversations. It doesn’t have to be anything over the top, it can be as simple as synchronising your timetable on a particular day so that you both do your regular breakfast, coffee run or lunch in the kitchen at the same time to enable you to have the catch up conversation. If they are doing it anyway, it is the perfect time to catch up.
Go to internal/office social events
Try and make yourself available and participate in as many office social events as possible as this will help to get to know others easily at an event they are already going to. Use your time at these events wisely, catch up with both colleagues your regularly chat to as well as meeting new colleagues and/or seeking out those you rarely have a proper excuse to talk to.
Attend training events
The above doesn’t just apply to social events, it applies to all internal and training events. Go along and learn something as well as catching up with internal contacts.
Are you going to an interesting networking event that you know would be beneficial to another colleague? Why not invite them along. This will also give you an opportunity to get to know them better (particularly if you travel to the event together) and let them know that you are thinking about them (and are keen to promote the company as a whole. Win-win.