Seanice Kacungira Lojede would like you to know that your attitude is the reason you are not getting the connections you want.
Kacungira, a former media personality (Sanyu FM and WBS TV[Kampala], Capital FM [Nairobi] ), is the founder and group chief executive officer at Blu Flamingo Digital Africa.
Blu Flamingo is a pan-African digital marketing and advertising agency headquartered in South Africa, with branches in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Nigeria.
She is also the founder of Digicon Academy, a Google-endorsed institution that has trained a number of millennials in digital marketing skills.
With an experience of 13 years in media, serving in crucial positions, Seanice Kacungira is among the few people that can speak with authority on networking.
What has been engrained in most of us is that, at networking events, exchanging business cards is a very important thing.
But most of us don’t bother to sit back and reflect on whether the person we gave the business card will actually keep it in a safe place, let alone follow up with a business deal.
There is another side of networking that just a mere mention of it, elicits a bout of jitters among many: initiating a meaningful conversation with a business ‘person of interest’ at a networking event, especially when they are in a powerful position.
Seanice Kacungira speaks out
According to the 36-year-old marketer, who has also previously struggled with networking until she stumbled upon actionable methods, your strengths are what people are interested in.
“The one thing I’ve learnt about building networks is that you mustn’t forget your own strengths,” says Kacungira.
She says that knowing that people care about what you have to offer has helped her a lot in creating deeper, meaningful connections rather than “forcing life” in awkward “stiff” conversations where everyone is scheming to win over the other as they introduce themselves.
Seanice Kacungira says that every time you are interacting with a person, instead of coming across as a person scheming to squeeze every opportunity out of the person you are talking to, ask yourself what you can do for that individual.
“When I go into a [networking] situation, I take the pressure off of myself… ask myself what can I do for this person?” says Kacungira, adding:
“If you take a genuine interest in someone, it takes the spotlight off of you and puts it on them and makes you more comfortable.”
Kacungira says that you should always identify people who can immensely benefit from your skillset and “unique talents” so that they help you organically grow connections by recommending other people to you.
“Networking is a huge part of your success but you must do it in a way that makes you comfortable,” she says.
On people, who come across as schemers and manipulative, she cautions:
“I think human beings are fundamentally the same and we can see right through people who are coming at us from a selfish POV (point of view) other than those who are coming at us from a place of love and want to help us.”