We’ve heard that good networking is a two-way street: we are supposed to give and get, not only one or the other. Makes sense; sounds fair.
We usually know what we want to get from a networking conversation (e.g. connection, insight, guidance, or introductions). But what can we give? We don’t want to be unfair. We don’t want the others to feel put upon. Until we know what we can give, we probably will hesitate or avoid networking.
We can give our networking conversation partner any of the following. All are valuable.
- The joy of knowing that they have helped us.
- An honest, “Thank you.”
- An honest and specific compliment.
- Showing them that we heard and appreciated what they are up to, generally, and what they want to accomplish at work.
- Silently appreciating/honoring them as fellow humans.
- An introduction to someone we know who may help them.
- News or insights we know that may help them.
- Encouragement and, with their permission, coaching or advice.
We can so do these.
In your corner,