Networking 101

In the last post I talked about the importance of keeping the axe sharp.  One way of doing this is to build and strengthen relationships. I have never liked the term networking. To me whenever I hear that word images of self-serving people wanting to get something come immediately to mind. An exaggeration maybe, but I think you get the idea. I much prefer to use the term relationships.

According to  one meaning of the word relationships is connection, association, or involvement. Each of these nouns assumes a two-way street. For there to be a connection, association or involvement with someone means that you are doing something and the other party is doing something. A real relationship involves this two way action.

To build and make relationships stronger requires time and effort on your part. One very effective way to do this is to serve people you want to have a relationship with or put more simply do favours.

Favours don’t have to be big, time consuming or expensive. Usually it is the small random acts of kindness that have the biggest impact. For example, one of my clients complained that they never had enough of the same drinking glasses when they held meetings with external people (like me) – it was embarrassing. It came up one day in conversation and I made a mental note that next time I was in their office (which happened to be 2 weeks later) to bring with me a set of 12 glasses. I left the box of glasses on the desk of my client and went to another meeting. I think they are still talking about it!

By doing favours for people in your current organisation (and sometimes more importantly those outside your employer) you build a reputation as a good person; someone who helps others not just him/herself.  However, all other things being equal (which is code for “if you are doing the right things the right way”) when you need help there should be those around who you can call upon for a favour!

See you next post,

James E