Networking Know-How: Ellevate Toronto’s 5 Cs of Networking

Ellevate Network
3 min readSep 12, 2023

By: Miranda Steele

Are your networking skills feeling a bit rusty? You’re not alone.

Since the pandemic, many of us are feeling out of practice on in-person networking. Ellevate Toronto takes the stress out of networking with our 5 Cs. Follow them to make the most of any opportunity to expand your network.

1) Curiosity.

Listening is a critical part of networking, and it’s important to approach conversations with authenticity and a genuine interest to learn about others. What was the last event they attended? What’s their favourite part of their job? What do they do outside of work? Curiosity is critical to getting to know new people and finding common ground and points of connection. The trick is simply getting the ball rolling and having a few probing questions up your sleeve. Curiosity will take care of the rest.

[Related: Can You Hear Me Now? Active Listening 101]

2) Confidence.

You know the drill: Networking starts by telling others about yourself, clearly and concisely. Some people do this with natural confidence, and for the rest of us it can take practice. Particularly after the decline of in-person networking over the last few years, it’s easy to feel a little rusty. Grab a friend or turn to that friendly face in the mirror and practice your pitch. Before you know it, you’ll be confidently making a lasting impression, effortlessly.

3) Cards (and QRs!)

Do you still have business cards? If so, be sure to bring a pocket full, and pass them out to people you meet. There’s nothing like leaving a networking event with a fistful of tangible new connections. And if you’re traveling lighter these days, it’s never been simpler to make a LinkedIn connection on the spot through your very own QR code. Try it out in advance and show up ready to make those new connections stick with ease.

[Related: Creating Space for Connection]

4) Catch-up.

Once you’ve made new connections, it’s important to foster them. Whether you’ve exchanged email addresses or connected via LinkedIn, pop your new connections a note to continue the conversation. Not sure what to chat about? Share an article you enjoyed, or share a follow up from your discussion. Even a note to say ‘Great meeting you, hope to see you at the next event!’ leaves an impression and creates opportunity to connect again.

5) Connect (the dots!)

The best part of a powerful personal network is sharing it with others. We’re always challenging ourselves and others to make meaningful connections that help others learn and grow. When you meet someone new, consider if there’s anyone in your existing network they might benefit from connecting with. This type of proactive networking is particularly powerful to help women grow and foster meaningful and supportive networks of professional women.

What’s your favorite networking tip? Please share it in the comments below 👇

[Related: Go Ahead, Be Ambitious!]

Miranda Steele is the Co-President of Ellevate Toronto.

Originally published at https://www.ellevatenetwork.com on September 13, 2023.

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