How to build strong and effective networks and why it’s more important than ever

by Stephen Conmy on Aug 16, 2021

Full name

Kingsley Aikins

Job Title


Company Name

The Networking Institute

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Have you ever wondered what skills great networkers possess? Can you learn to be a great networker and build strong and effective networks?

Kingsley Aikins is the CEO of The Networking Institute. Here he discusses why networking is now more critical than ever, the art of good networking, the key characteristics of great networkers, and why the best networkers are often introverts.

Key takeaways:

  • Given what we have all been through since the first lockdown in 2020, Kingsley Aikins explains why networking is now more critical than ever.
  • Since Covid and the various lockdowns, men’s networks have decreased by 30%, and interestingly women’s networks haven’t reduced.
  • Our ‘funnels of serendipity’ have become restricted, and we need to get back on the networking horse.
  • You can’t go it alone in life. Many of us have bought into the myth of the rugged lone ranger, but actually, life is about connecting and collaborating.
  • To survive and thrive, you need to build a diverse and robust network.
  • Networking is the antidote to one of the great crises of our time, which is loneliness.
  • The importance of having a diverse network.
  • People who are good at networking have a few strong traits in common: First, they work hard. They are humble; they don’t brag, they don’t keep score. They know that the way to new people is through people they already know. They are also good at nurturing their networks; they don’t let them die. They are curious; they listen; they ask great questions.
  • Great networkers are high tech, and they are also high touch and get that balance right.
  • We are all social animals – people do business with people they like and trust.
  • Ask yourself – is my network good enough? Look at what’s happening in the world. McKinsey put out some research that suggests that in the top eight economies globally, 100 million people will have to switch occupations. It would help if you built a network to secure your next job.
  • Audit your network. Print it off and look at it. Tidy it up. Prune it and watch it grow.
  • Look back at relationships you once had. Every week, ring one person to re-connect with.
  • Why creating an entirely new tribe of connections has never been easier.
  • Most companies don’t have networking strategies. Networking isn’t taught at any level in schools or colleges. Why is this?
  • Empathy, attitude, compassion and humour are skills you must display.
  • Kingsley also explains why introverts can often be better at networking than extroverts.
  • The topics to avoid when networking.
  • Why the number one skill of a great networker is to be a world-class listener. “We live in a world where most people don’t listen. You learn everything when you listen.”
  • The other skill is making luck happen for you. Luck doesn’t happen sitting at your desk.
  • How younger generations connect and interact differently and why soft skills have never been in such high demand.

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