Dr Renate Volpe, in her nugget cards entitled “Networking Tips” says:
“Don’t confuse networking with friendship.”
Actually, whilst we are on the subject, don’t confuse business (of any kind) with friendship either – they are two different issues that should inhabit two different spaces in your life – if they don’t and if you confuse or blur the line the result could mean the loss of business or the loss of the friendship – so be careful about what you are doing and make sure that the lines and boundaries are very visible and very clear to all parties concerned.
Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with social networking, in fact, you can make some really great contacts and even do some really good business on places like LinkedIn or even Facebook but I wouldn’t rely on them as the sole focus of my networking commitments. I would use them rather as tools to enhance what I already have.
There are a huge number of other Networking opportunities out there both from a local perspective as well as internationally. There will always be some that feel a whole lot more comfortable than others – it’s a matter of choice. I would not say that one is necessarily better than the other – it’s about what works for you at the end of the day.
Having said that, however, you need to take the first step and actually get onto the site or get to a meeting and get going! Networking takes work, it doesn’t just happen!
For more information on Renate, please visit her website at www.drrenatevolpe.co.za