2006-04-28

Networking

I have been a firm believer in that networking is not about collecting business cards, being at every meeting worth its name, accosting every member of a club/student body / professional group or knowing (the names of) more and more people.

Networking starts with working on oneself. One has to be able to add value to others to become acceptable in a network. To be able to add value one needs to know more about at least one thing (anything!*) than others can know. To be able to let people know that one has some value to add, one has to participate in meetings & parties; take every opportunity to speak in public; take some position of leadership (need not be formal). People will orbit around those that have gotten recognized as someone who can add value (through special skills or position).

Networking, at its best, is when people want to get in touch with you; not necessarily when you want to reach out to people.


PS: * You can even know a person who can make a difference

5 comments:

jasmine said...

Yup! very true dear! i've actually realized abt this while participating in various convo's myslef n unkowingly ppl wanna know more of u or have u as a part of their team!

Chanakya said...

Though I agree a little, I think more has to be said. While networking is about getting counted in others' community, they could count you in for different reasons. Capability (to add value or otherwise) alone will not cut the ice. If you have the capability, people may respect you. They need not like you or include you in their network. Many like to meet and be with people like themselves. Similarities they look for could be language, region, education, cultural background etc. [There was an LCM course in which the prof said, in b-schools that have high international intake, informal groups are mostly regional]. This translates to having something in common so you can start relationship and take it to the next level of comfort in interacting with each other. This category of networking need not expect something in return. I remember Nandan Nelikani made a comment in one of the meetings: "Customer wants to work with you not because you write software cheaper. But because she is comforable working with you." It applies here.

Re: others getting in touch with you, 'people will orbit around..' does not sound very positive. I think people will want to get in touch with you if they know that you will think on their behalf--for their good-- and do whatever you can to help them. Developing a genuine urge to help others (or "add value" if you will) goes a long way.

I would say, there are different ways to network. One of them is smiling. I know people who are terrific networkers. They may have little capability but they smile all the time, talk what people want hear, and know how to talk to people of varying maturities.

The ideal way to network depends on the networking style of the person you want to network with.

Cheers,
CS

itheabsolute said...

Hi Jasmine

Thanks for the comment. What I have written is what I have realized out of my experience.

Cheers

Hi Chanakya

Thanks for your inputs. I am sure what you write is what you have observed and benefited from.

cheers

Maverick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Niranjan said...

This is the best of the articles i have read i your blog till now. i am reading it in the backward chronological order and yet to read an year more. Good thoughts. keep it flowing. i guess ur the most wanted person in ur group anywhere u were till now in ur recent years.

2006-04-28

Networking

I have been a firm believer in that networking is not about collecting business cards, being at every meeting worth its name, accosting every member of a club/student body / professional group or knowing (the names of) more and more people.

Networking starts with working on oneself. One has to be able to add value to others to become acceptable in a network. To be able to add value one needs to know more about at least one thing (anything!*) than others can know. To be able to let people know that one has some value to add, one has to participate in meetings & parties; take every opportunity to speak in public; take some position of leadership (need not be formal). People will orbit around those that have gotten recognized as someone who can add value (through special skills or position).

Networking, at its best, is when people want to get in touch with you; not necessarily when you want to reach out to people.


PS: * You can even know a person who can make a difference

5 comments:

jasmine said...

Yup! very true dear! i've actually realized abt this while participating in various convo's myslef n unkowingly ppl wanna know more of u or have u as a part of their team!

Chanakya said...

Though I agree a little, I think more has to be said. While networking is about getting counted in others' community, they could count you in for different reasons. Capability (to add value or otherwise) alone will not cut the ice. If you have the capability, people may respect you. They need not like you or include you in their network. Many like to meet and be with people like themselves. Similarities they look for could be language, region, education, cultural background etc. [There was an LCM course in which the prof said, in b-schools that have high international intake, informal groups are mostly regional]. This translates to having something in common so you can start relationship and take it to the next level of comfort in interacting with each other. This category of networking need not expect something in return. I remember Nandan Nelikani made a comment in one of the meetings: "Customer wants to work with you not because you write software cheaper. But because she is comforable working with you." It applies here.

Re: others getting in touch with you, 'people will orbit around..' does not sound very positive. I think people will want to get in touch with you if they know that you will think on their behalf--for their good-- and do whatever you can to help them. Developing a genuine urge to help others (or "add value" if you will) goes a long way.

I would say, there are different ways to network. One of them is smiling. I know people who are terrific networkers. They may have little capability but they smile all the time, talk what people want hear, and know how to talk to people of varying maturities.

The ideal way to network depends on the networking style of the person you want to network with.

Cheers,
CS

itheabsolute said...

Hi Jasmine

Thanks for the comment. What I have written is what I have realized out of my experience.

Cheers

Hi Chanakya

Thanks for your inputs. I am sure what you write is what you have observed and benefited from.

cheers

Maverick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Niranjan said...

This is the best of the articles i have read i your blog till now. i am reading it in the backward chronological order and yet to read an year more. Good thoughts. keep it flowing. i guess ur the most wanted person in ur group anywhere u were till now in ur recent years.