The term networking is often defined as connecting with others in a group setting, small or large, to encourage nurturing of potential new as well as existing connections. Bottom line, as quoted by Herminia Ibarra with the Wall Street Journal, "Networking is crucial for advancing a career, building relationships and getting knowledgeable about a range of subjects". In the title article, "What Women Need to do to Network" I found that most of the ideas were extremely compelling and certainly applicable to all those seeking a way to prosper via their relationships in this fast paced, ever changing and competitive world.
Consider the following the next time you're contemplating your networking goals and strategies; they just may inspire you to try something new in your tactics:
Be a Bridge: The best way to expand professional relationships is by making connections across diverse circles that make up their network. For example, share ideas you've identified via an industry website with a colleague or contemporary; you never know what value that idea might bring to their team's best practices.
Do it Your Way: Make YOUR PASSION part of your strategy. If you love theater, knitting, cooking, perhaps bird watching, or strolls on the beach, organize an activity that allows you to draw those you're interested in getting to know into your circle. Make it fun, welcoming and most of all a reflection of you.
Join a Professional Network that is close to your Heart: The saying, do what you love, and it will never seem like work is true. Join a group that speaks to you and a new network of followers will contagiously come aboard.
While networking is certainly a vast topic, it's above all a personal tactic that should be developed and executed by one person, and that's you. Have fun, enjoy and results will surface in due time.