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Coaching Challenge: Connecting

The question this week really is not about how large your network is; the question is this - how strong are your connections within your network? It's not just about quantity. As with so many things, quality counts, too.

With this in mind, here are a few networking challenges for you to think about over the course of the next week. Think about what you can do to strengthen your network ties and make a commitment to those actions - soon!

Here we go....

- Invite someone in your network to coffee. Bonus points if you invite someone who you think could benefit from your help at this time in his or her career.

- Next time you are talking with someone in your network, actively listen. Work to make the conversation about them, not you.

- Identify a relationship in your network that you've neglected. Make a point to connect.

- Help someone in your network. Mentor. Introduce. Offer. Give.

- Follow up with someone you met in the last couple of weeks. Let them know you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to having them as part of your network.

- Log on to LinkedIn and congratulate those who have recently changed jobs or roles. It's the perfect time to send a note to let them know that you're thinking about them.

- Not on LinkedIn? Get on there. Now. No, really. Go do it!

Building stronger connections doesn't necessarily mean a big time commitment. Sending a follow-up email takes only minutes and it reminds both you and the receiver that you have a connection that is there and available should a need ever arise.

Most importantly, enjoy the process! Strengthening your connections should be fun, not work. Enjoy the ride.