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How to Build and Maintain Your Network During an Age of Social Distancing

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First, and foremost – We hope you, your family, friends and colleagues remain healthy during these times of great uncertainty. #COVID-19 has substantially impacted our lives in ways not thought possible just a few weeks ago. We know there are significant challenges ahead for a large number of people as well as businesses in every industry.

In an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses have transitioned to social distancing and remote working environment (i.e., working from home), with people connected virtually through technology only. Yet, the need to communicate effectively with peers, clients, referral partners and other key audiences, providing relevant information and constant value to your relationships, has become even more imperative during uncertain times.

So how you are staying in touch with your network and team members? How you are using this time to work on initiatives you don’t typically have time for? Threats like the coronavirus will create disruption. But you can use various strategies to respond effectively and continue to network and deliver against your business goals. Here are some strategies that leaders can employ to ensure their teams and networks continue to collaborate effectively and maintain momentum in the business.

 

Provide Value


Strategic networking occurs when both parties add value to the relationship. Look for ways to be beneficial and provide value to the people you want to connect with or build upon the relationships you currently have. Don’t network simply for the sole purpose of presenting your firm or professional service. Others see that as self-serving and see right through your motivations. Be a source of insight to others. For example, write articles that discuss important topics that provide thought leadership to others. Provide meaningful input on topics that your network desires to read. Demonstrate your domain knowledge. This is a key value proposition that will help build connections.

 

Go Outside of Your Network


A network of people with similar backgrounds and points of view limits your exposure to new ideas. Communication with people from different industries can expand your network.

 

Be Proactive


What are you waiting for? Engage and act. Even if you don’t think you need networking at the moment given the uncertainty, do it. Waiting until the time you will desperately need something from someone is too risky and will cost you more when the time comes. Don’t stop looking for opportunities. For example, at Objective Capital Partners, we continue to interact with entrepreneurs and business owners on a daily basis in helping them explore strategic options for their business.

 

Follow-up is Important


People are extremely busy and distracted right now. There is a very good chance that they will forget about your discussion given the environment we live in today. Sending a message within 1-2 days is a strategic act that you need in order to start the real relationship.

 

Cultivate Your Existing Relationships


Many times I witness people forgetting about their connections once they have “served their purpose.” To grow your network, do not treat people like one-time solutions to problems. Cultivate your relationships. Let them know that you are here to help if the need arises.

 

Pursue Quality Over Quantity


Be selective about where you network and whom you wish to network with. Quality is better than quantity. Find the right platform for you where you will find people who you can assist or can help you.

 

Use Social Media Platforms


LinkedIn is a great platform to maintain and build your networks. Reach out and get to know others better. Like, comment, share, and start a conversation. Provide your perspective on topics and issues.

 

Humanize Communication


Instead of relying exclusively on e-mail, which tends to limit the depth of debate, switch to richer, real-time media such as video conferences, web chats, or even phone calls. Communication is critical at this time. Find ways to connect with your team and key referral partners on a frequent basis. These forms of communication are more personal, allow others to read one another’s emotions, and help to boost morale. Teams that suddenly change work patterns — particularly moving from co-located to working from home — need to rethink how to accomplish their tasks and ensure that everyone understands his or her role. People suddenly working from home are likely to feel disconnected and lonely, which lowers productivity and engagement. Making time for personal interaction with your team and networks is more important than ever.

At Objective Capital Partners, we hold a daily Zoom call with the team and each person reviews their top three priorities to accomplish that day. Because you no longer have water cooler conversations, and people might be just learning how to work from home, we like to spend the first few minutes of a meeting checking in and asking a personal question of “How are you guys doing?” We also use Slack for communication on client engagements which allows us to compartmentalize each engagement and keep track of the priorities.

 

Create the Virtual Water Cooler or Happy Hour


Explore different ways to connect with your networks virtually. Set aside time for personal updates, the kind of small talk you might start an in-person meeting with. This builds camaraderie and can be enjoyable during this time.

 

Final Thoughts


The coronavirus pandemic is expected to fundamentally change the way many organizations operate and network for the foreseeable future. As governments and businesses around the world tell those with symptoms to self-quarantine and everyone else to practice social distancing, remote work is our new reality. We hope that these strategies may help you, your colleagues, or your clients. Feel free to reach out if there’s anything we can do to help during this challenging time. Stay safe and healthy.

 


 

About the Author:

David H. Crean, Ph.D, MBA      David Crean headshot

Managing Director, Life Sciences & Healthcare

25+ Years of Experience

[email protected]

 

 

Disclosure

This news release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer, invitation or recommendation to buy, sell, subscribe for or issue any securities. While the information provided herein is believed to be accurate and reliable, Objective Capital Partners and BA Securities, LLC make no representations or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of such information. All information contained herein is preliminary, limited and subject to completion, correction or amendment. It should not be construed as investment, legal, or tax advice and may not be reproduced or distributed to any person. Securities and investment banking services are offered through BA Securities, LLC Member FINRA, SIPC. Principals of Objective Capital are Registered Representatives of BA Securities. Objective Capital Partners and BA Securities are separate and unaffiliated entities.

 

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