Networking: What It Really Means.
Networking: What It Really Means – Lets talk about it.
By Adam Connors
You hear the word “networking” often. It’s a term that’s thrown around frequently and, unfortunately, many times not always well-thought out when it is being used. You may know the importance of networking, and how you need to have good networking skills. But…do you really know what networking is?
Networking Is Being Connected.
There are many different types: computer networking, television networks, social networking, and of course business networking. And when you think about it, there’s one key component that is common across them all – interconnectedness.
Being connected creates a link between two points. But how do you build a connection between these points, especially in your professional life? You create it with those whom you share common interests, ideas, values and resources. Once you identify what connects you to certain others, your shared passions will guide the growth of your relationships. It’s not necessarily about titles, status, or even influence – it’s about discovering a mutual connection…and shaping it into something valuable.
Networking Is NOT Just an Event.
Going to networking events is a great way to develop relationships and increase your number of contacts. And if you don’t learn how to maximize the opportunities that come out of these events, then you are missing out! But it’s not just something that you attend…networking is a skill that is practiced and honed throughout your daily life.
Most don’t know what true networking is. It’s so much more than creating a safety net for an inevitable period of career transition – it is a means to access an enormous pool of resources with unlimited benefits. It’s having contact with those who always take your phone call and people who find your opinions valuable. And increasing these types of resources opens many doors for you. “Networks enable communication, collaboration, and coordination that in turn enable innovation.” (From the keynote speech: “The United Nations: A Network of Networks” by Reid Hoffman)
Networking Is About Using Your Value.
Once you discover your worth and understand how your intrinsic value influences people, you can be beneficial to others. What you offer and bring to the table can be very valuable – and make you an asset! Determining your value is advantageous to producing positive experiences in networking. Knowing how worthy your knowledge and strengths are will help you foster meaningful connections that create an impact on your network.
Networking Is a Mindset.
How you approach networking influences your behavior. If you go into it believing it’s not beneficial and just a waste of time, then what do you think will happen? Having the right mindset as you initiate and develop relationships with people you share mutual interests will create immense opportunities. And not only for you – but for others as well!
Networking Is a Proactive Approach.
It’s a method of connecting people and producing relationships while creating a community with the aim of all parties mutually benefiting. At its core, it’s about giving, helping AND sharing ideas and information. Building on these associations increases your network…and when you expand your network, you expand your opportunities!
Networking Is Powerful.
It is very powerful and highly valuable, and if executed properly…all parties benefit. Networking is about transcending connections into relationships. It also creates your sphere of influence – those people who are most prevailing and of greatest value within your network.
When you determine what networking is you will find that no matter how you look at it, it’s crucial to building resourceful relationships and valuable connections. But, you need to fully understand what networking means TO YOU…to gain the most benefits from it!