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Networking 101 – Playing it Forward

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For me, part of becoming a more skilled Networker or Networking more effectively, is not just about me doing things better, but it is also about me teaching others what I have learnt about how to Network. You see, if I am the most effective Networker around and no-one else around me knows how to Network effectively, I am not going to get what I want out of Networking. For me to effectively ‘work’ my Network, I have to have a network, that effectively ‘works’ their Network too.

So it is very important, not only for me to know and do the right things when I am Networking, but it is in my own best interests for the people that I Network with to know and do the right things when they are Networking to.

It is also very important that we start thinking the right way too and if we are to make our Networking endeavours as successful and as magnetic as they can be, it may involve us changing our mindsets. It’s means opening up our eyes and taking off out blinkers and having a look at absolutely everywhere – not just the usual spots.

How about looking at individuals or groups of individuals that we never think about Networking or who don’t look at your particular Networking type groups because your profession or the size of your business is not where they look for what it is that they do.

I know from experience that ‘employees’ in a Corporate environment don’t feel the need to network because well, it’s like this . . . they have a comfortable job that gives them a steady income and they have a marketing department that markets and brand the company and they have a sales department that goes out and sells and brings the business in and therefore they don’t need to meet people and Network. The people that they usually meet are ‘needy’ small business owners who only want something from them and they don’t need anything those small ‘needy’ business owners have to offer. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

We all need to interact with people and when we meet with someone, whether it is at Networking type meeting or a social dinner or a beer in the pub down the road, we need to exchange ideas, exchange information and learn new things – it’s a natural phenomena that is built into every single one of us. Think about it people, whenever you meet someone you always ask what they do and you invariably tell them what you do. It’s exchanging information about one another. The next step is exchanging ideas and most of us even exchange opinions. We try and understand the other person point of view (well most of us do) and we try and get them to understand ours.

So why is Networking any different? It’s our mindset that needs some serious work.

At a Networking event, we exchange information about one another, we exchange ideas (this is how you can be of assistance to my business and this is how I can be of assistance to yours) and we exchange opinions.

So whether you are a small business owner or an employee in a large Corporate – you need to Network and there is no reason what-so-ever, for the experience not to be a mutually beneficial one.