Whether you like it or not, every single day, your interactions will involve people of diverse background. From the watchman at the gate, the kitchen lady, the receptionist, the driver, the human resource officer and even the technical expert in engineering. You can therefore benefit from developing the skills to deal with the different diverse networks you are bound to make.

Our lives definitely rotates around people. One politician recently jokingly said that it is only in church where all people will stand up and sing the chosen hymn in unison. In the real world, everyone is different, they want to sing their hymn. Some would like to sing sitting down, some will even ask why there is need to sing hymn number 58 and not 36. A good leader definitely has learnt how to work around these diversities.

Today, I want to teach three ways you can apply to ensure you successfully diversify your networks and get along well with people. I have hinted in the past, you do not know how to work with people, you don’t know leadership.

Try starting small

The first step is to take the little steps. Get to talk to the grocery seller, the watchman or even the newspaper seller. Talk about the things you don’t have in common. Trying discussing a totally new topic. One which you may even feel uncomfortable at first. Talk about the politics of the day. Talk to the watchman about the challenge of having to stay up all night. Discuss on an issue as the alarm system, security issues and you will be surprised at how people appreciate when you discuss things that relate to them and not you. They start to feel valued. You can then develop this skill slowly by slowly until you start being comfortable tackling topics outside your domain. This way, you can easily diversify your network to other professions successfully.

Start being conscious about your prejudices

Mindfulness of your predetermined conclusions about other professions or people is a skill you need to learn. Be conscious about the biased conclusions about others and work to go against the same. Whenever you meet a lawyer, make an effort to remain objective at all times. Be aware that your mind may want to bring up the images of the psychologically formed thoughts about the profession. Seek to listen and understand before seeking to be understood. Prejudices are a barrier to successful networking and diversifying your skills at all times.

Seek to collaborate not to compete

Reach out to people from different backgrounds. Deliberately create or join groups outside your routine career or circles. The one I call the members of the comfort zone support group. Make yourself uncomfortable. Move out and join other people who bring in new horizons for you. Join charitable causes and engage people while at it. A monthly charity club or group will give you a chance to meet with people holding very different opinion than yours. They will help to shape your thinking and open up your mind to realization of new perspectives.