We are better together. We need each other. Classify this as things we say because we know relationships are important to us. The fact is humans are relational animals. We are social and we need to be connected. Connections are so valuable they could almost be considered legal tender.
Connection is Currency
Before it seems like I am advocating the buying and selling of friends and influence, I need to be clear that this is not what i'm saying. I believe we need to consider our relationships super valuable. In the same way that buying and selling things can be a way to obtain things, so can connections. So, yes, they are a form of tender... so to speak.
I love networking events. Well, truth be know, I love to be around people. I love to hang and connect and share stories. I love to laugh and talk to new and interesting friends and I like to make people laugh as well.
Totally Different than Social Networking
In person networking is so much different than social media. The former is usually an altruistic exchange of interactions that can be just that or potentially lead to deeper connection, project or something else. Social networking can be valuable too, just in different ways. The likelihood for misrepresentation in Social Media is also extremely high (we have all posted that perfect pic of our super cool business lunch with the cool kids, wanting to show off, knowing that we would normally be eating a Subway sandwich in our car). Social Media can also be a powerful tool.
Maximize Your Social Capital
There are lots of things we can do to increase our networking ability, efficiency and propensity. Usually when you value other people as potential friends and seek to love and give, you are on your way to being a great networker. Some other ideas include:
- Host a networking party
- Pursue upward relationships
- Let others pursue you
- Attend a social event and meet 5 new people
- Think about the last few people you recently met, ask yourself, "How will I stay connected?"
- Make a list of 5 new people or types of people you want to meet and plan a way to meet them
Like all other skills, you need some networking practice. It may take time but it will be worth it. Just act natural, love people, give and have fun. You will be a great networker in no time.
Keep on networking.