Build Your Power Network
Daniela Velázquez | Senior Public Relations Strategist
*This blog first appeared in NextGen Collective.

——-
Power.

We all want it, whether we admit it aloud or not.

Here’s a secret 🤫: we all have it.

In its simplest definition, power is the ability to act. Building your power relies on your ability to create deep, authentic connections with other people.

Why?

Because to get anywhere in your career, you need to cultivate a team of people around you who know what you’re all about and have your back. You’ll never know who will help you climb the next rung of the career ladder until you get there.

As a communications professional with a ❤️for social justice, I wanted to learn how to focus my gift of gab and love of people for the greater good. So I recently attended a community-organizing training session to learn some skills on developing deep relationships.

I bet you’re thinking, “Wait, what? Aren’t community organizers just concerned with getting politicians all riled up?”

Whether we are rallying people around a new idea, making a cultural shift in the office, or signing up coworkers for the next company volunteer day, it takes more than ourselves to make things happen. “Organizing” means getting people to join your movement.

And it’s empowering.

Once you start tapping into the infinite power of the people around you, you’ll realize that you’re not alone. It takes a team to get anywhere in life and you have teammates with expertise all around you. You will also build confidence by honing your ability to create a community—an ability you can take with you wherever you go.

Networking is just the start: relationships aren’t created with an exchange of business cards. Like any other meaningful relationship in your life, they take time to develop. The better you know yourself, the easier it is to see who aligns with your values and goals—those are the relationships you want to pursue.

The essential tool in your power-building toolbox is: mastering the one-on-one meeting. In this thirty- to forty-minute meeting, you are flexing your listening skills. This is the time for you to dig deep and ask the other person about their job, their life, and their interests. You’re looking for what motivates them in life, why they do what they do, and what kind of difference they hope to make.

Five Steps to Building a Power Network

  1. Get clear on your values. Let’s get real, as Latinx professionals we have a chance to make the world a better place for our community. Understand the motivation behind your goals. Get specific about what kind of impact you want to make on the world. This really shapes the network you build.
  2. Set up one-on-one meetings with intention. Y’all, I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. Say no to your inner “yes” monster and prioritize your meetings. Think about whose values and goals align with yours, and call them first.
  3. Use your time wisely. A one-on-one is an opportunity to get to know someone. The first meeting is not the time to ask for a favor. Check your ego at the door and focus on the other person. Listen closely. Ask politely probing questions. Learn what motivates and inspires them.
  4. Record and reflect. After the meeting, jot down a few notes about where the person works and what they’re interested in. Reflect on whether there’s a win-win situation in which you can add value to the person’s life to help them reach their goals, and vice versa. Remember what your mama said about manners and send them a thank you note for sharing their time with you.
  5. Repeat steps one through four.

To paraphrase Maya Angelou, people may forget what you said or did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. That’s why it’s so powerful to have thoughtful, authentic conversations where you are genuine in your interest. People remember being heard. They remember authenticity.

Now, get out there and start building your power network.

Daniela Velázquez

Daniela Velázquez is Senior Manager of Public Relations at Elasticity.

Daniela has worked with organizations big and small to help them tell their story. Whether it’s narratives or numbers, she knows that a message that resonates can change everything.

Daniela comes to Elasticity from ACLU of Missouri, where as director of communications, she elevated the organization’s profile across the state during one of the busiest times in its history. Prior to that, she worked with the Ferguson Commission and the St. Louis Mosaic Project.

A former journalist, Velázquez honed her communication skills while covering news in Florida (a sunny place for shady people, as the newsgathers say). She worked as an online news producer for Tampa Bay Online (TBO.com) and reported and wrote feature and general assignment stories for The Tampa Tribune and NBC-affiliate WFLA-TV/News Channel 8, as well as reported for the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper. She also worked as the digital content editor at Tampa, Fla.-based WellCare, a Fortune 500 company and government-sponsored health care provider.

She holds a Bachelor of Journalism in News Editorial and a Bachelor of Arts in History, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

When she’s not working, you can usually find her indulging her love for powerlifting at the gym, exploring the outdoors on a hiking trail somewhere, spending time with her friends and family, or practicing her Spanish by watching telenovelas.

Creative, Culture, Data, Development, Media, News, PR, Social, Strategy | 11.12.2019
Brand Marketing + Reputation Management Firm Elasticity Enters Denver Market
Award-winning brand marketing and reputation management agency Elasticity today announced
Culture, Data, Media, News, PR | 08.12.2019
When Too Much is Too Much: The Art of Email Marketing
I am not an email marketing expert, and as an
Culture, Media, News, PR | 10.06.2015
Elasticity Seeks Digital Content & Design Manager
Are you a digitally savvy communicator with presentation design skills
Culture, Media, News, PR | 04.05.2016
15 Tips for Media Preparedness
I began my career in television which lent itself to the