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7 Basics of Networking
7 Basics of Networking

7 Basics of Networking

imageYou know what the worst thing about networking is?  The word itself.  Really.  I would wager someone’s done a study, somewhere, with results like this:

Top 3 Things People Hate Doing:

  • Public Speaking
    Networking *

It need not be that way.  The crux of the problem is many parents do not understand its importance and then teach it to their children.  For many, ‘networking’ means having 299 business cards in one hand, walking into a room with 300 people, being filled with dread.

Ugh. No wonder so many fear networking.

Networking is right up there with ponzi schemes and MLM (multi-level marketing).  It would be more warmly received if a better word were used instead: relationship’ng.  Relationship building, making friends, contributing value to others is what it is all about.

It used to be, whenever I did public speaking, my levels of anxiety felt off the chart.  What will they think of me? What if I flub? What will happen if I…?  Later on, as I started more actively studying the art of public speaking (go visit to start your enlightment), I came to a realization.  It’s not about me. It’s about them! As soon as my focus changed from being about me me me, to ‘what value will my audience receive, what are their needs, how will they feel…’ anxiety levels fell dramatically.

The same is true about networking (aka relationship’ng).  Too many folks look at networking as, “what can this other person do for me?” Change it to what can I do for them?  And all of a sudden the stress diminishes.

Consider: 14 of my 17 professional jobs have been a direct result of people I knew reaching out to me…

The 7 Basics of Networking

  1. Know what value you can provide to others?
  2. Who are people that would be valuable to you?
  3. Give first and you will always receive value back?**
  4. Your reputation often precedes you, so make sure its good.
  5. It’s easy – Just ask questions
  6. Remember: Most people like to talk about themselves
  7. Follow through on any commitments you make—and never ever have to be chased to follow-through.

These 7 will get you on the right path.  The rest will come with time and experience.


* I made it up. But I expect I’m not far off<g>
** Value in return might come immediately, next week, next year, or never.  Do not go in expecting it.

(image credit: Muriel Miralles de Sawicki)


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