Whether through online social networking or face-to-face contact, women are meeting, sharing and connecting in ways that men often shy away from.  The result is lasting relationships that are the building blocks of future job placements, sales leads and partnerships.

Do women network differently than men?

The narrative looks like this:  A man thinks “Who do I know who has what I need right now?” – could be a job, investment tip or tickets to the game – and then he asks for it. Simple.

Women are generally more complex.  They see things from a lot of different angles, not just one straight-lined route, and so we take a round-about route.  Before we think, ‘What can this person do for me,’ we ask ‘What can I do for her in order to get what I need.”

Connecting is what it’s all about for women

Even if we find that the person can’t help us right now, perhaps they may know someone who can or will think of us at some point in the future when they need somebody.  The connection is not wasted, even if there’s no immediate transaction.

What are the benefits of building these relationships?

Women are really good listeners, and at networking events we listen to what the other person needs so that we can help to make that happen.  Out of that comes trust.  And out of that – perhaps – comes a new business contact – that works for women!

How do I develop my Networking Skills?

When networking, your goal is to ‘sell yourself’ so you appear responsible, reliable and smart.  Sharing too much information that makes you look otherwise can backfire.  Off the table – sex, politics, drinking escapades, and well, you get the picture.  It’s good to be open and real, but keep the impression you’re making in mind.

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Originally written by Meghan Casserly – Forbes Staff  Oct. 7, 2009

Modified by Marilyn Jansen – Aug. 15, 2017