The importance of networking in academics is one of the many things you have to focus on when you’re in the landscape in any capacity. This is because your network is integral to building a solid scholarly reputation in which your name and accomplishments are spread to as wide an audience as possible.
There are other ways to get this result, but networking is by far the most advantageous. However, building a professional network relies a lot on your interpersonal skills. When you’re in the process of creating that tenuous bond between you and another person who could be beneficial to your career, making a mistake is not an option. But not everyone has the gift of a photographic memory, and it can be hard to remember the names of people you just met. Messing up a name is, though, the kiss of death to many burgeoning networking relationships, because humans, by nature, want to feel important. Forgetting someone’s name does the opposite effect. These tips can help ensure that you remember important names at your next networking event.
Building Your Academic Career by Networking
When you work in the field of academics, particularly in higher education institutions, you’re going to spend a lot of your “outside office” time attending conferences. Each conference might be a little different, but every one is geared towards building networks and reestablishing old connections by reinforcing relationships.
When you take conferencing and other opportunities for networking seriously, you’ll realize that every meeting is a change to make a connection with someone who could possibly be beneficial to your future. This could be anyone from the highest echelons of the academic circles to the lowest status people. Never snub anyone because you don’t think they can help you move forward. Many people have learned the hard way not to judge off appearances or social status.
Tricks to Remembering Names at a Busy Function
The fastest way to insult a person is to call them by the wrong name. If you’re way off base, you can recover faster than if you’re really close, showing them you remember you’re supposed to know their name but just didn’t care enough to cement it into your mind. But these tricks will help you to create the neural networks in your brain that will file away this pertinent and simple piece of information to jog your memory banks every time you see your newest connections:
● Use their name while you talk to them as often as possible (as long as it sounds natural). Look them in the eyes while you’re talking to them and occasionally pepper your sentences with their name whenever it fits. As they are talking to you, mentally say their name.
● Find a visual or an allusion that helps you remember their name. When you bridge a connection between something you already know and the new person, you’re more likely to remember their name. Visuals are often the most powerful way to do this, but you might associate someone with the name Harry, who also happens to be from England, to your favorite magical movie or book character.
● Always make sure you respect them by asking them how to spell their name. Maybe it sounds like a common sense, popular name like Michael. But when you give someone that added level of respect by offering them the chance to speak up if they often get their name spelled wrong, they appreciate it, and it cements their name in your mind with that spelling.
● Take a picture of their business card. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and if you want to remember someone, ask them if you can take a picture with them or, at least, of their card. Turn these pictures into your networking photo album and add notes to every file when you learn something new about your connection.
● Give them your social media info and get theirs in return. Waiting until after the conference to connect on LinkedIn or whatever platform you use professionally gives them, and you, the chance to forget your conversation. Connect in real time to be sure the network gets established firmly.
With these tips, you will use visuals and concrete tricks to make sure the next time you run into someone you just met, you won’t make the faux pas of forgetting their name.
Staying Connected Through Impactio
Networking with a consistent strategy is an essential part of building and reinforcing connections. One way to do this is to invest in platforms that are used by experts in the academic field, like Impactio. This all-in-one software solution for experts makes it easy to publish and share research, but Impactio also has a networking community of scholars around the globe.
Creating your academic profile with Impactio establishes an impact beyond that of any social media platform. With Impaction, you can publish your work, network with scholars, and use citation indicator reports to gauge impact. Networking through personalized tips like remembering names and more is taken to a whole new level when you use Impactio.