Moral of the Story: The easiest networking tip isn’t about It’s not what you know or who you know. It’s who knows you.
I was in the kitchen at work getting some coffee when suddenly I heard someone say…
Coworker: “Good morning Sasha.”
It startled me. Who was that? Who is saying good morning to me like they know me?? I slowly turned around.
Me: “Heyyyy…good morning!”
For the life of me, I couldn’t place her face. Who was that? I hurried to my desk and after 10 minutes I finally had an ‘Ah Ha!” moment. She was a member of an internal team that my team interacted with frequently. We didn’t have a direct relationship but we were often added to the same email chains. Of course, she knew my name from emails but that morning she put a name to my face and it stuck with me. Over the next few weeks I monitored her behavior in the kitchen (Stalkerish but I was doing investigative work for the greater good) and would you believe she addressed everyone by their first name?
Everyone’s reactions were similar to mine. It’s like when someone says your name, you can’t just avoid eye contact as you grumble “good morning” while continuing to pour milk into your coffee. Each person made a point to stop what they were doing and acknowledge her greeting. Acknowledgement in the workplace is priceless. Studies have shown that addressing people by their first name helps you remember their name and helps them remember you! Talk about the easiest networking tip you can start doing TODAY.
When was the last time someone addressed you by your first name? When was the last time you addressed someone by their first name? Get to it because I’m telling you IT WORKS. Just please don’t be that person that lurks in the kitchen and says “Good morning, Jason” to the same Jason every morning or worse yet, that person that interrupts people etc. You want to come off as genuine and sincere, not as obnoxious and intrusive. Use sound judgment.
It’s easy, quick, effective, and most importantly it’s meaningful. The results are immediate and long-lasting. I didn’t get 3 promotions in 5 years by just doing good work. It’s a combination of good work, trust, and acknowledgment.
Try it out and let me know how it goes!!
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk