The word networking has a bad reputation. Many of us think networking is somehow slimy, inauthentic, uncomfortable, and/or old-school. And we recoil at the idea of networking to advance our businesses, projects, and careers.
Yet some of us say that networking is one of the most wonderful, powerful tools to have in your professional toolkit. How can this be true?
It’s in the intent.
Networking with someone in order to complete a transaction (e.g make a sale, get a lead, land a job, or capture an endorsement) is slimy, inauthentic, uncomfortable, and old-school. Networking to connect, relate, care, listen, refer, share, and ask for and give insight and guidance is what really makes the world go ’round.
In yours corner,
PS: Going for the transaction is a win-lose approach that mostly generates bad feelings and resistance. Going for the connection and conversation is win-win and often creates sales, jobs, and endorsements as by-products.
PPS: You can’t tell from the techniques used whether someone (even you) is networking for win-win or for win-lose. But you can definitely feel the difference. They can, too.