Networking and relationship management for project management

Networking and relationship management for project management 22.03.2018 - Networking is a term that has become increasingly important in the professional environment and in project management in recent years. Networking itself has changed dramatically with the emergence of individual social media of different orientation. However, the term networking basically means managing all relationships that exist in the professional environment, not only on social platforms, but especially personally. Networking competence and relationship management are among the soft skills expected of a successful project manager, because they are often crucial for the success of projects. Relationships must be established, maintained and cultivated in order to be able to benefit from them for oneself, one's own career and one's projects.

Why networking?
Building a network, between people means having the opportunity to use synergies and to be able to exchange ideas with specialists from all possible fields. The will for networking arises from the need to gain many advantages through numerous contacts. Contacts can help to solve problems, to answer questions, to give ideas and finally also to successfully work on a project, because they provide valuable information or help in another way. If you have many contacts, you hardly have to waste time searching for information. Personal relationships make life easier, as experience has shown that inquiries from acquaintances are processed much faster than inquiries from strangers. Studies have often examined the importance of relationships, the famous vitamin B, and many of them have concluded that up to 60% of professional success can be attributed to relationships. No matter in which field you are active: relationships help everyone. Last but not least, in most cases jobs and promotions are also given to those who have good relationships and someone to speak for them. According to a study by the economic and social science institute of the Hans Böckler Foundation, about a third of all vacancies are advertised and filled via relationships in some way.

Vitamin B leads to success
Not only employees but also the self-employed profit enormously from relationships, because about 80% of all orders are awarded thanks to a personal recommendation or via word-of-mouth propaganda. Especially small and medium-sized companies have to think in this direction, because most people look for their tax consultant, doctor, craftsman or their cleaning aid through contacts and recommendations. Only when there is no recommendation do people tend to look for a solution on the Internet. If you want to make a career in a company, you should also cultivate all your relationships as best you can. Former colleagues who are reorienting themselves can be important contacts with competitors or potential partners. All contacts that are made within the scope of a project should be maintained, because you never know which questions and challenges the next project will bring and whether you might need a bat expert or a sound engineer there.

An important ability
Networking skills are also a skill appreciated by employers. If you are sociable and sociable, you are often a much better project manager, because people like working with such a person. In order to promote one's own networking competence, one can start at different levels. One theory says that you are connected to everyone in the world over a maximum of six knots. So everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows someone and so on.
To organize and get involved in social networks, clubs and interest groups is also part of the job description of a project manager. Not only internet platforms such as Xing or Linkedin make sense, but also conferences on specific topics, alumni meetings, professional associations and the like. Trade fairs and jour fixes on professional topics are useful places to make new contacts. And of course, one's own company and environment are of great importance. The contacts and contact possibilities increase exponentially, because every person you make contact with knows other people and can establish further contacts. The biggest problem with networking is probably the time you have to invest to keep and maintain contacts. Who would rather spend their Friday evening at a congress on roof waterproofing than at home with family or friends? Nevertheless, one has to find a middle way that does not restrict one's private life too much and does not make it difficult to find the right balance.
This includes always being available when one of the contacts asks for something and asks for something, especially when it is a simple and simple request. One hand washes the other.
You want to network? Join our Xing group and take part in exciting discussions! There you will also find out when the next IAPM network meetings will take place.

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