Networking or Notworking
It is unarguable that in business today, the use of “social” as a means to connect appears to be the best way to engage with people. This is nothing new, as social engagement has been around since the beginning of time. Humans are naturally social creatures and we enjoy interaction with each other. At the heart of everything we do is a relationship and relationships need to be nurtured and worked at. All relationships have a reputation behind them and the best ones are natural, where “it just works because it does”
In the days before mobiles, digital and the internet, social engagement was principally a face to face affair and in business terms we “networked” as a key component in business. This has not changed, but I feel more than ever that meeting people face to face is becoming far more important than perhaps we think. Having the opportunity to be introduced to someone new by somebody you both know, is more powerful than you can imagine, as your reputation is being vouched for and that credibility is very powerful.
Networking is critical in modern times, where the need to physically see someone reveals more than a text, snapchat, email, skype call or some other digital engagement can. In an era where reputations can be bought and we seek ever more instant gratification, we must remember that life is a journey and our wisdom, beliefs and abilities are built around the experiences and relationships we create and maintain.
I’ve been an active networker for years and earlier this year I tracked back the number of outcomes in my career (both good and bad) that I could attribute to networking. It is an amazing exercise to do if you consider just two areas in business; getting a job and winning a piece of business. Three major businesses I have started were all due singularly down to people I have networked with. I have also experienced numerous deals and appointments that I can track back to an individual person. Don’t get me wrong, there is still the need to make your own efforts and use your own skills and talents to forge relationships, but talent alone is not enough.
A genuinely recommended introduction is unmatched in its’ ability to contain integrity, build trust and set a solid platform to build a relationship on. Increasingly we see words like collaboration, co-working, cohorts and many others in the business lexicon and these all involve other people. So, go forth, get out from behind your computer and meet people, after all, its’ not what you know, but who you know.
There’s a world of amazing people out there, go and find them and remember that networking is also a two-way process; if you give, you will receive.