Effective Networking In Trauma Treatment

Learning to connect with other professionals is vital to your success as you niche in trauma treatment.  Having a solid network of professionals can help you feel supported as well be a springboard for opportunities in your career development.  In order to be an effective networker, it is important to get over any fears or phobias related to connecting with others.  It is also important to remember every connection has potential no matter how small it seems.  Lastly, it is important to figure out multiple ways of bringing value to the newly forming connections.

Due to my husband’s job, I have restarted my career in a new state 4 times now and I estimate at least another 2 -3 times before we retire.  While this may sound overwhelming to some, I have learned to take the bitter with the sweet and make something delicious.  My most delicious creation thus far has been learning to become an effective networker.   I have learned to connect using snail mail, email, and social media long before I arrive in a new state and by the time I get there I know a couple of people in the field already.  Having the ability to effectively network has been invaluable to my niche journey.   Here are three tips that will help you be effective too.

3 Tips to Effective Networking

Tip 1: Do it afraid

You may have a little social anxiety or fear related to connecting with others.  Your inner critic may keep you from feeling confident to step out and tell people about yourself.  I had to tell myself, “Do it afraid.”  I challenged my irrational thoughts by asking myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”  More often than not, I realized the worst I could come up with was not that bad after all.  Also, you can role-play with a friend for extra practice or have them proof-read your emails or letters to help you feel more confident before sending them out.

Tip 2: Despise not small beginnings

You have probably heard the saying “It’s a small world.”  I learned the world is even smaller when you are working in your niche.  Remember that every interaction and connection is a potential for something great.  I have had several experiences with this.  I was relocating to Alabama and I sent an email to a colleague I saw on a website to introduce myself.  That email was forwarded to the Alabama Association of Marriage and Family Therapist’s President, who then invited me to a picnic.  The connections I made at the picnic lead to an interview for a position.  While I decided not to take that position, the members of the association asked me to join the board and eventually I was invited to submit my name to become a member of the state licensing board review team.  This all came from one email I sent to a colleague I didn’t know just saying hello.

Tip 3: Bring value to the table

I use to constantly ask myself, “What can I offer in this new relationship?”  I learned over time,  me being my authentic self and truly connecting because I want to be connected to others, allowed the value to naturally flow.  Through these authentic interactions, I always end up sharing my resources with others.  Sometimes I shared articles or connections, and other times I provided a listening ear as they worked through a tough case.  I notice that the question related to my value started to fade and I naturally brought value because I genuinely cared.

Effective networking is less about going to events and giving out your business cards like they are candy, but more about having a desire to connect with others to build a strong network of colleagues around you.  We cannot become great at being a trauma therapist isolated from others, it really takes a well-developed network to effectively treat our clients and feel supported in the work we do.

This Week’s Freebie: Download 3 email templates to help you network with others here.  They will cover the following three topics:  relocating, job searching, and a simple introduction.  Feel free to plug in your information or use it as a good foundation to start your own email.

Comment Below: What is your number one barrier to effective networking?

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