Networking is a two-way exchange.

Posted: June 26, 2014 in Effective Networking, Gift of Connection Project
Tags: , ,

One of the pitfalls of networking is having the mindset that you’re building relationships so that when you need assistance from your connections, they will help you but this is only one side of the equation. When I had this mindset, I was frustrated because even though I was making an effort to socialize and get to know people when I asked them for their support in small projects, I wasn’t getting their cooperation.

Effective networking is service driven. When you have a something you do well and enjoy doing, find ways you can help others in a selfless way when you’re building connections. This does not mean horse-trading, I’ll do this for you and in return you do this for me. It means, I want to freely serve because I want to invest in you and developing this relationship. When people see your genuine interest in supporting them without a selfish motive, when the time comes, they will want to assist you.

There are two things to keep in mind. First of all, there’s a difference between serving others because you want to and because you feel obligated. It’s easy to fall into a trap of being taken advantage of if you connect with the wrong people. Determine ahead of time does this person have integrity and how much you’re willing to give. Secondly, are you investing in people that have a desire to advance their careers and are passionate about the same things you are, if so it would be easier to work together and be on the same page.

Having an accurate perspective of networking, which includes both sides of the equation, an attitude of investing in others and as a result eventually receiving the returns on my investment as opposed to initially thinking what I can get out of this relationship, you are more likely to connect with the right people that want to help you succeed.

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