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How to Use Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Networking

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

When you hear the word networking, you may think of a scheduled event where you take your

résumé and elevator pitch and be ready to small talk with every employer you meet. However,

getting into the nuances of networking, there’s really more to it than that. Authentic

networking is about using emotional intelligence (EI) to connect with other people. It’s more

than just asking for a job--it’s about building relationships and using your tuition to read a

room. There are several ways to apply EI to networking.

Being self-aware. Your emotions, motivations, and energy drive how you interact with others.

When you have an awareness of what drives these factors for you, you have a better chance of

a fruitful networking interaction. Knowing who you are at your core helps you establish

relationships both on a personal and professional level. When you are self-aware, you have a

better chance of accomplishing mutual goals with a networking partner. Some tips to develop

self-awareness are to notice your triggers, establish what your values are, and “stop judging

your feelings as good or bad,” according to Forbes.

Have high self-regard. Think of self-regard as a little bit like putting the oxygen mask on yourself

before others in a crisis. It can sound selfish, but it’s actually about self-preservation, knowing

your worth, and what you bring to the table. It’s a critical piece of networking because you

don’t get distracted by comparing yourself to others when building relationships and you can

stand on your own merits. One way to develop self-regard is being aware of how your emotions

affect others.

Show empathy. Being able to demonstrate empathy to others is critical for networking. It’s all

about showing others that you are listening to them and can validate their feelings. Again, since

networking is about building relationships, being able to meet someone where they are at and

relating to them is helping to solidify the relationship you’re trying to establish. According to

Forbes, to better show empathy, work on developing your listening skills, show more

compassion, and be aware that other people have their own personal experiences to share with

you. It’s not just all about the experiences you’ve had in life.

At the heart of the emotional intelligence you use for networking is being in tune with your

intuition. EI is simply being able to “identify and understand human emotions,” according to

Indeed. The more you practice using your intuition, the faster you’ll be able to utilize these EI

skills. The next time you need to network to find a job, which could be every day because you

never know who you’ll encounter, think about these three qualities you can work on

developing. There’s a good chance you’ll have a leg up on your competition who is more

focused on answering questions perfectly or having an updated résumé ready to go.




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