How Leaders Cultivate Savvy Networks Through Relationship Building – Episode 28


In this episode, Maven Miara shares ways to cultivate a savvy network using the art of relationship building. She emphasizes the importance of authentic engagement, strategic networking, and nurturing relationships. Maven Miara highlights the value of being your authentic self and not comparing yourself to others. She also encourages listeners to be strategic in choosing networking events and to practice their introductions. Lastly, she emphasizes the importance of making deposits into relationships before making withdrawals.


Key Focus Areas:

  • 00:00 Cultivating a Savvy Network
  • 01:30 Authentic Engagement
  • 05:21 Strategic Networking
  • 08:14 Nurturing Relationship

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Elevating Your Network – The Art of Meaningful Connections

In the realm of professional success, especially for high-achieving women leaders, the power of a well-cultivated network is unparalleled. It’s a tapestry of relationships that can propel careers, inspire innovation, and foster growth. Our recent podcast episode, “Cultivate a Savvy Network Using the Art of Relationship Building,” delved into this nuanced topic, underscoring the importance of not just expanding your network but enriching it. This article expands on the three key focus areas discussed, offering a deeper insight into how you can transform your networking approach into an empowering and fulfilling journey.

Authentic Engagement: The Heart of Meaningful Connections

The cornerstone of any strong network is authentic engagement. It’s about forging connections that go beyond the superficial exchange of business cards. Authentic engagement is rooted in genuine interest and mutual respect, and it’s where the magic of true connection begins.

  • Embrace Your Authentic Self: In every interaction, bring your true self to the table. Share your passions, values, and visions. Authenticity attracts, and it’s the key to forming connections that resonate on a deeper level.
  • Active Listening: The art of networking is as much about listening as it is about speaking. Listen actively and empathetically. It’s in understanding others’ perspectives that strong bonds are formed.
  • Consistency in Communication: Stay in touch. Authentic engagement doesn’t end with the first meeting. It’s nurtured over time through consistent and meaningful communication.

Strategic Networking: Building with Purpose

Strategic networking isn’t about collecting contacts; it’s about connecting with the right people who align with your goals and values. It’s a targeted approach, one that requires planning and foresight.

  • Identify and Connect with Key Influencers: Do your research. Identify individuals within your industry or field who are not just leaders but also align with your professional ethos. Reach out to them with a clear and concise message about why you think this connection could be mutually beneficial.
  • Leverage Conferences and Events: Attend events not just to be seen, but to see – to identify potential connections. Prioritize events that align with your professional interests and goals, and approach them with a plan.
  • Value of Diverse Networks: Build a diverse network. Diversity in your network brings diverse perspectives, opportunities, and insights, enriching your professional and personal growth.

Nurturing Your Network: A Continuous Process

Building your network is just the beginning. The true value of a network is realized when it’s nurtured and maintained.

  • Follow-Up and Follow-Through: After meeting someone, follow up with a personalized message. Keep your commitments and stay in touch. It’s these small gestures that deepen connections.
  • Provide and Seek Value: Networking is a two-way street. Always think about how you can add value to your connections. This could be in the form of sharing knowledge, offering support, or connecting them with others. Remember, the more you give, the more you receive.
  • Create a Supportive Ecosystem: Your network should be your support system – a group of people who inspire you, challenge you, and encourage your growth. Foster an environment where support and collaboration are the foundations.

The Ripple Effect of Building Savvy Networks

The benefits of building and nurturing a savvy network are profound. Not only does it open doors to new opportunities, but it also offers a support system of peers who understand your challenges and can offer advice, support, and encouragement. Moreover, the skills you develop through relationship building—empathy, communication, strategic thinking—enhance your personal growth and make you a more effective leader.

In “Success With Saneness,” Maven Miara’s journey underscores a powerful message: your career is not just a series of job titles and accomplishments but a tapestry woven from the relationships you build along the way. As you step forward in your professional journey, remember that the strongest networks are built on a foundation of authenticity, strategic intent, and ongoing engagement. These are the networks that not only support your career growth but also enrich your life with meaningful connections and experiences.

So, as you navigate your path to success, embrace the art of relationship building. It’s a journey that goes beyond professional growth, touching every aspect of your personal development and leading to a fulfilling, well-rounded life. Let the power of your connections propel you to heights you never imagined possible, and may your network be as vibrant and dynamic as your aspirations.



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Get Connected with Maven Miara

Are you a dynamic female executive or women entrepreneur craving proven business growth strategies and leadership success? Do you yearn for more fulfilling work-life balance? Are you seeking unwavering leadership confidence as you navigate the complexities of life, all while maintaining your holistic well-being (spiritual, physical and mental)? Welcome to ‘Success with Saneness. This transformative personal development podcast is designed exclusively for high-performers who seek to excel in both their professional and personal lives with balance. Each episode features expert insights and thought-provoking discussions about building unshakable leadership confidence, business growth and designing harmony among them. Join your host, “Maven” Miara, a professional speaker, business strategist, leadership development facilitator and author. Embark on an enlightening journey towards success with saneness, where holistic care, confidence building, and leadership unite. To find out more, join the Maven Nation community by visiting Reach out to Maven Miara at: Website:  /  Episode Website LinkedIn: @miarashaw  /  Instagram: @mavenmiara  /  YouTube: @mavenmiara

Maven Miara (00:05.418)
Hey, hey, Maven Nation, it's Maven Miara and welcome back to another episode of Success With Saneness. This episode, I'm gonna be sharing with you ways that you can use to cultivate a savvy network using the art of relationship building. And I know you might be saying, why are you making it sound so fancy, Miara? It's really not being fancy, it's being intentional. So...

I will say that over my career. So let's look back at my 27 year oil and gas careers, energy trader, et cetera. So much of my movement growth promotion in that career was through being connected to people, the art of relationship building. I know when I was getting laid off, which ended that career, I...

look back and realize that I had never used a resume. I worked at four different companies in that 27 year career. I had not used a resume to get any of those jobs. Not a single one. I went to look for my resume to edit it, rebuild it, whatever it was going to look like for me looking for a job after my layoff.

And I didn't have one. I did not have one because I lost it. I didn't have one. And really so much of that was from relationship building when it was time for me to go when I went to the next job or the next company, someone that I had built a relationship with came and got me. We'd like to talk to you or take you to lunch about this other opportunity. That's how it happened. Now I'm not saying, uh,

That's the only way of course it happens. But for me, that's how it happens. So let's talk about three ways that you can really focus in on using the art of relationship building to grow your own personal network. And the first one is authentic engagement. You know, I think again, the world of social media, we have a tendency to do the comparison game.

Maven Miara (02:28.726)
that, Oh, this person's doing it this way. That they seem to be gaining followers that have gained followers. And they say they're making millions of dollars. I need to try to be that. I need to replicate that. If that is not your authentic self, then someone that is truly a relationship builder, they're going to snuff that out. They're going to sense that something is, is a little bit off or not, not authentic.

So I want you to take that pressure off yourself of doing the comparison game and saying, Oh, I need to try to do it like this person because they seem to be getting success. Well, they could be truly getting success because that's the way that works for them, because they're leading with their authentic self. That's their thing. You can't replicate that. You have your own unique values and

characteristics that that's what we need. That's what really helps you connect with someone else is that you show up as your authentic self. Trust me, it is good enough. Really, if you can't be yourself, then who, who are you going to be? Imagine all that. I always say, honey, it's enough work for me to just be me. I couldn't imagine how much more work I would have to do to try to learn, remember, and then mimic.

being someone else. So lean in to your authentic self, engage in a way that is authentic to you. Now is everybody going to like it, accept it, beef them? They're not. And that's fine. And if, from my perspective, if everybody likes me, everybody wants to be around me, I'm not doing something right because I am not for everybody and everybody is not for me.

I say that with a smile. Again, I'm not saying that with, you know, uh, this nastiness, like, you know, you get, it's not about that. I am just not created, designed, nor have the capacity to reach every single person. But there are people that I am created, designed, and have the capacity to connect with. And I want that. And they want that to be the authentic Miara Shaw.

Maven Miara (04:51.418)
AKA Maven Miara. That's the best person that I can be. Your authentic self is the best person you can be. So that's number one, engage, use your art of relationship building from your authentic self. That's who we want to show up. The second one is strategic networking strategic. Um, you know, I live in Houston, fourth largest city in the nation. There are a lot of things, events,

to go to, to be invited to all of the things. Um, I cannot be, nor do I desire to be at everything and a lot of things. Okay. Selected things, but I'm strategic about where I'm going to be. And if you are a leader and emerging leader, a business founder, entrepreneur, you should want when you've got to say,

How am I going to be strategic? Think about, are the people you, as a corporate professional leader, are the people you wanna connect with going to be at that networking event or that event as a business founder or entrepreneur, or is your ideal audience or someone that you wanna connect with, collaborate, going to be, not necessarily maybe a specific person, but that ideal category of people?

Are they going to be at that event, conference, luncheon, whatever it is, that's a top way to strategically decide what you're going to give your energy to. Are the people I want to engage with, collaborate with, learn from, be around my ideal client, going to be in that space? If so, that's something that I can at least consider.

being a part of. So strategic networking. And for those of you that say, Oh, Miara, I hate networking. I'm an introvert. I'm really shy. Here's what I tell you to do. Practice your introduction. If you go to an event, someone's going to say, Oh, hi, my name is Miara. What do you do? Practice it. Know it in your head. No one's going to know that you stood in the mirror for an hour practicing before you left, but it builds your confidence. Someone says, when someone says,

Maven Miara (07:16.31)
Hi, I'm Miara and I am the CEO of Miara Shaw Enterprises. What about you? You don't have to stumble and oh well, you've practiced. You know how to at least get your introduction out without feeling like you've never said it before or that you don't have any confidence in it. So if you're that person, networking events make you nervous, you're a bit shy, all these things, practice.

at least have your introduction down that you can say it with confidence, that you can say it in a tone where someone can take it in and say, Oh, it's a pleasure to meet you. Well tell me a little bit more about your business or tell me a little bit about the work you've done in your corporate role, all of those things. So if you're uncomfortable with networking, that's not an excuse not to network. That means you need to do a little bit of prep work and practice at least your introduction and have that down.

The third one is nurture those relationships. I use the phrase of make sure you're making deposits into relationships before you need to make a withdrawal. Okay. So let's use, for example, let's say you're in the corporate space and you want to get promoted. You know, you're looking at this role and you think you do better by having a sponsor, someone that can speak for you in rooms where you're not there to speak for yourself.

So you identify, okay, this person is the person that I think would be a great sponsor for me. Okay. They don't know you. You don't know them other than you've identified them. Maybe you reach out via email and ask for a coffee or take that personal lunch or a 20 minute virtual chat, whatever that looks like. Okay. So let's say it's a 20 minute virtual chat or a coffee follow up with

Thank you for your time. Here's a few things that I took away from our conversation. Here are my next steps. You're nurturing that relationship. Now you've covered that. Maybe you just send that person a thank you email or drop them a card and a mail or send them a digital coffee card, whatever it is. Those little things are nurturing that relationship. So they didn't just hear from you the one time.

Maven Miara (09:41.802)
And the next time they hear from you, you're like, can you do this thing for me? They've heard from you in a few small ways. It doesn't have to be anything overwhelming. You don't have to send them a gift card for $500, just small things to let the person know. I appreciate your time. This is a relationship that I'm willing to make some investment in and cultivate so that when you then get ready or need to make a withdrawal or make an ask,

That person's not like, now who is this person again? You've done a little bit of work for nurturing that relationship. Okay. So again, those three areas, authentic engagement, be you. That's the best version of yourself. Strategic networking, even if you're shy, practice that, practice that introduction and then nurture those relationships so that you're not just trying to make withdrawals.

and you haven't made any deposits into those relationships. So I hope that helps you in really using the art of relationship building for you to create a savvy, savvy network that can depend on you. And you can also depend on them. So until next time, Maven keep doing your BAM thing.


I’m Maven Miara

I’m a Hope Curator & Confidence Cultivator who works with high-achieving, purpose pursuing baddies to help them move from STUCK to EXECUTION in creating the lifestyle they desire. Contact us at


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miara shaw

'Maven' Miara Shaw is a Hope Curator & Confidence Cultivator who works with high-achieving, purpose pursuing leaders to take action in moving from stuck to execution without sacrificing their relationships, health & mental sanity. She calls this a Balanced Rhythm™.


Miara Shaw is based in Houston, TX but serves clients globally. She is a certified to do business with local government and federal agencies.