It’s not enough to build a network, you also need to maintain it. This means preserving your connections with enthusiasm so the best ideas, resources, and talent come your way. Here are three tips for doing that:
- Bring yourself fully to every interaction. Turn off your phone. Signal interest by sitting forward and asking questions. People notice if you’re present, and they’ll respond to your ideas and engagement with their own.
- Do what you say you will. People will invest more in their relationships with you if you follow through. If you promised to send an article or make an introduction, do it.
- Seek input. When you’ve got something exciting cooking, let your friends and colleagues in on it. They’ll be more forthcoming with their own ideas and resources if you draw them into stimulating conversations and projects.
Adapted from the HBR Guide to Networking.