Rules for networking at work

People that are well networked within their company bridge the silos that plague all organizations, and make their firms more collaborative.

Here are three rules of thumb for growing your network inside the office:

1. Build outward, not inward.

Don't waste time deepening connections with people you already know. Get out of your comfort zone and contact people in other teams or business units.

Hard to do? Not so. Your company probably organizes social events for its employees or schedules team-building exercises. Next time one of these invitations pops up in your mailbox accept immediately. It's the perfect opportunity to get in touch with employees from other business units.

2. Go for diversity, not size.

Rather than aiming for a massive network, build an efficient one. This requires knowing people who are different from you, and from one another. It also gives you an eagle eye view of what different business units contribute to keep the company running smoothly. Aim to know at least one person in each of the organisation's departments.

3. Go beyond familiar faces.

Identify the 'hubs' in your company – people who've worked on a variety of teams and projects – and ask them to connect you to others.

You know the one guy who seems to know everyone in the company? Get in touch with him, then ask him to introduce you to at least two other people. This is how you develop a wider network.
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