3 Lessons from Networking Expert Michelle Tillis Lederman

Michelle Tillis Lederman

It’s not every day that you get named to a Top 25 list by Forbes, but that’s what happened for Michelle Tillis Lederman in 2015. Years of (net)working hard landed her on the Forbes Top 25 Networking Professionals to Watch. Namely, her training company Executive Essentials and three books, The 11 Laws of Likability, Heroes Get Hired, and Nail the Interview—Land the Job, have contributed to her success. Not to mention her speaking events, social media influence, and professional coaching.

It would appear that Forbes found the right leader to appoint to its distinguished list, and now Forbes has tapped Michelle again—this time headlining the June Ashford Alumni Event at Forbes in New York. Those who attend will find themselves lucky to learn from her expertise, and the rest of us can look to some of the other networking advice she has shared.

“Don’t network for need and don’t network for now.”

"Network for life," Michelle explains, stressing that building relationships is fundamental to business and to building one’s career. You never know where you will meet someone, so being open to meeting others in any place and at any time is important. In a recent interview for the Rise Up for You podcast, Michelle shared that a person she recently met at a dog park had quickly become a trusted colleague. “You just never know where you’ll build your network,” she noted.

“If you don’t ask, the answer is no."

Part of networking comes from Michelle’s philosophy of asking for what you want, which is a learned skill. She notes that while it’s hard to ask for what you want, you won’t get anything unless you ask for it. Though it can be stressful to ask something of other people, Michelle advises that you should try to understand what’s holding you back from your request. Identifying this fear will help you frame how to ask for what you want. “Most people want to help you but don’t always know how,” she explains. By simply asking others for what you want, you make it easier for them to decide whether or not they are able to help you.

“Consistency is one of the four pillars of trust.”

The foundation of building relationships is trust. Michelle explains that you cannot build a relationship if you don’t consistently work on enhancing the trust between you and another person. Communicating with others on a regular basis improves your dependability in others’ eyes, and that consistency goes a long way to strengthen trust. In turn, that trust will have a positive effect on you as well. Michelle advises, “Take the time to build new habits that enhance the quality of not only your relationships with others, but also the quality of your own life.”

The time to build relationships—that is, to network—is now. Learn more from Michelle at the Ashford Alumni Event and follow along for her other tips and updates.


Written by Kelsey Bober, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.

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