CMS Guidance for State Partnership Health Insurance ExchangesStep One: Meeting new people

There are so many ways to network with other people whether it is planned events or you happen to find yourself running into a random group of people through friends. A great networker is always looking for opportunities to meet people because you never know who the next person might be or what they are capable of. This means going to events that are meant for networking. Going to get togethers or parties you might not have been originally interested in. It is okay to feel uncomfortable, that is a natural part of learning how to interact with others.

Step Two: Asking questions/becoming interested

What should you do when you do happen to run into someone new? Many people wait for the stranger to start asking the questions, which rarely happens. To find out more about the individual it is good to ask them questions that align with your interests. I bet you will find something in common with the newly found acquaintance. If you do not find any similarities between the two of you, the relationship was possibly not meant to happen and it is okay to move on, but be respectful at all times. Never burn any bridges because you never know when anyone can become a resource.

Step Three: Trying to create bonds through similar interests

Once you do find an individual with similar interests, continue the conversation in that direction. Try to learn about that person and become comfortable with them so by the end of the talk you feel you have gained insight on their life. Hopefully this process will begin to feel natural after a few attempts and then it will feel much easier to be able to go up to anyone even if they are already engulfed in another group. People enjoy talking to risk takers, the unusual people who take a while to unfold. Do not be that person who just talks for the sake of talking without ever getting anywhere. So boring!

Step Four: Work together

The exciting part is when you happen to meet someone who has similar interests, but is also intrigued in you as well. The questions go back and forth with each person digging a little deeper into the other individual's life. Many times this forms into a bond or a working relationship, if not just a good time. If the connection you guys have feels real, try to get their contact information as well as a reason for why you should meet up again. This could just be for a cup of coffee at the starbucks around the corner or maybe you have a project that you want to try to bring that person into. No matter what, it should feel amazing that you are networking with like minded individuals.

Step Five: Eventually gaining their network

After a while of non-stop networking, you should begin to truly use the relationship that have been created. Yes I said USE. This type of using is for both people to gain experience in the type of project you guys are being apart of. If anything, the person should be honored that you think they are good enough to work with. Over time the bond between you and the people in your new found network will become stronger. By that time new and old friends will begin to sync together to become part of a larger network. Eventually this will lead to great opportunities as long as everyone shares the same vision(s).

Step Six: Repeat

Just because you found one great networking group does not mean the task is over. You have to get right back out there and be looking for other interesting people at the next event. Once projects begin to materialize, you will have a better understanding of what type of people to look for. As long as the networking continues, the ideas and people will always be pouring in leading to better ideas that innovate society.

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