There are many reasons why people want to network with others. I’m always encouraging clients to connect, collaborate and communicate with the community on a regular basis. It is not prudent to attend an event without a strategic plan. That plan starts with knowing what talents you will bring with you.

My own Gallup Strength Assessment identified the top 10 talents I use to network. I am a communicator. I am someone who likes to learn and someone who likes to seek input from others. Those are just some of the talents I bring when I head to a networking event.

I ask questions as I engage people in conversation but even before I engage anyone, I do my research. I seek out specific events. I look to see who might be attending. I also do research on the speaker or panelists as well as the organization who is hosting the event. I want to arm myself with information I can use to engage people, to start the dialogue.

When the event is also centered around an important topic where I can benefit from learning something new, it makes attending that event that much more worthwhile. There is such an evening coming up and hosted by the Livonia Chamber of Commerce. I encourage you to consider attending and if you do decide to go, create that strategy: What talents will you bring with you and how do you plan on connecting and communicating with the attendees.