Networking is a lot like dating. If you were seeking a spouse, you wouldn’t go up to a stranger in a bar and ask “Will you marry me?” Instead, you’d take the time to get to know the other person. And that requires listening to them and getting to know them.
Debbie Madden is the CEO at Stride, an Agile software development consultancy in NYC. In a recent post on Medium, she explains her one networking rule to rule them all: "Focus on the conversation, not on the outcome."
Therein, she shares some advice she gave to a colleague about navigating networking conversations by providing value, and discovering what interests the person you're talking to has, as opposed to diving right in by trying to get what you want out of them for personal gain.