1. Connect with other industries.
Spending time with professionals who excel in industries other than your own can help you discover new approaches in your own line of work. Step outside of your immediate field, identify transferrable skills, and work together on complementary initiatives.
2. Discuss things that aren’t familiar.
Learn new terms and expand your horizons by venturing from typical conversation starters. A learned tidbit may assist you in building rapport with a future business partner.
3. Ask questions.
The right questions can turn a mundane introduction into a lasting impression, and most people are eager to talk about themselves to those willing to listen. Ask open ended questions about thoughtful topics to get the ball rolling.
4. Spend time outside of the office.
Shared experiences in unexpected environments can build relationships in unique ways. People often display varying characteristics depending on the situation; you may need to encounter an individual in many settings before identifying their true character.
5. Get to know their priorities.
An individual’s priorities can be a valuable window into their life. See if you can determine what contributes to their success and drives their work.
6. Unite through humanity.
Be forthright about your challenges. Moments of authenticity and vulnerability can be scary, but they connect us on a much deeper level than superficial pleasantries. Dare to be open; the response might surprise you.
Use networking opportunities as brainstorming sessions. Explore new ideas. Find news ways to look at old situations. Help each other. Innovate and create together. A stranger can offer a removed perspective to obstacles you regularly encounter.