Networking Skills

How to Build a Diverse Network and Signs Yours Isn’t

Diverse Network

Be honest. How diverse is your network? If you wanna go far, having a diverse network can help.

It means getting comfortable in spaces where people don’t look or think like you. 

A diverse professional network exposes you to unique perspectives, cultures, and opportunities.

Which can boost your potential and paycheck.

Here are 5 signs your network isn’t diverse and how to change that.  

Signs Your Network Isn’t Diverse

1. You share the same race, gender identity, or generation

Take a look around you. Now be honest. Does everyone in your network look alike? If you take a group photo. Could you all pass as a family?

If the answer is Yes. Your network isn’t diverse enough.

If you’re a Spanish speaker, having a network with mainly Spanish speakers likely feels right.

If you’re a black woman. It’s understandable to feel comfortable networking with other women of color. 

Nothing’s wrong with wanting to network with people like you. 

But if you want to go far, you’ll need to get comfortable with people you have nothing in common with.

2. Everyone comes to you for advice. But you have no one to call when you need advice

If you’re the go-to person for advice. But you have no one to go to when you need advice. That’s a sign your network isn’t diverse enough. 

A diverse network looks like having people to call for different situations because everyone has unique skills to offer. 

If you’re the biggest asset to your network, it’s time to upgrade your network with more high-value people.  

3. You see eye to eye on everything 

No one challenges you. No one questions you. You complete each other’s sentences. These aren’t signs of a diverse network.

It means the people in your social network have a lot in common. You share similar interests. Your views align. 

Having people willing to challenge you will help you get to the next level in your career. It will make you well-rounded. Elevate your thinking. And force you to level up. 

4. You’re afraid to share big goals with your network 

Wanna know the fastest way to kill a big dream? Tell it to a small mind. 

If you find yourself holding back big goals with your network.

It’s a sign your network isn’t diverse. This looks like downplaying your goals or not sharing your accomplishments. 

Pay attention to how you feel sharing big news with your contacts. If you feel like you’re bragging, your network might be full of your peers.

That’s not a bad thing. But a diverse network includes people at your level and people who are where you want to be.  A diverse network means having at least one person you can run big ideas by.

5. You laugh at the same jokes

Humor is cultural, not universal. Our sense of humor is based on our shared views of the world. So if everyone in your network laughs at the same jokes, it means you likely have shared views.

If your jokes don’t offend anyone, this could be a clear sign that your social network needs diversity. 

 
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How to Build a Diverse Network 

Step 1 – Create a Networking Plan 

A networking plan is a series of strategic steps you take to grow your professional contacts. It can help you map out exactly how to achieve diversity in your network. 

The goal of a networking plan is to give you step-by-step actions that help you achieve your goals.

Here are examples of what to include in your networking plan to build a diverse network:

  1. Be in situations where I can meet people from different backgrounds
  2. Get to know someone of a different culture each month 
  3. Attend a networking event outside of my industry 
  4. Look for a mentor outside of my gender identity 

Recommended Blog Post  – 5 Easy Steps To Create a Networking Plan (with template)

Step 2 – Educate Yourself 

Part of building a diverse network means studying other cultures. You’ll want to do your research on different cultures and their norms. 

That doesn’t mean you have to become an expert. There are many ways to study other cultures in today’s connected world.

You can attend cultural events. Listen to podcasts with hosts from other countries. Visit places of worship different from yours. The most important thing is to have an open mind. 

Step 3 – Commit to the Process

Now that you have a networking plan and have done your homework. Your next step is to commit to the process of rebranding your professional network.

You can do this in several ways. Start by committing to small steps consistently. Don’t overdo it and burn yourself out. These small steps will add up over time. 

Soon your network will look less like you. It’ll be well-rounded and high-value. Remember baby steps are still steps.

Building a Diverse Network 

A diverse network is a high-value network. Hopefully, this helps you take the first step in diversifying your network.

If you’re ready to step up your networking game, enroll in our Master Networking course!

We coach you step-by-step on how to network with confidence, build a brand story, and create an elevator pitch. 

You’ll learn simple yet powerful strategies to transform your career through networking.

Over to You

Do you have a diverse network? Head over to our comments section on social @netwerkmovement and let us know. Share this with someone who needs a network upgrade!

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