A pond that is not fed by a stream of fresh water soon becomes stagnant. Sometimes our offices or our work places can become like such a pond. We live in our space and our minds without any fresh information. Networking is a way to allow some fresh water into our proverbial ponds. With networking we reach beyond the borders of our work life and find new experiences and people who can strengthen our careers and businesses. It takes some effort and a little strategy to network, but the rewards can be great. So what is networking?
This is the primary definition of networking. It’s simple. Networking means taking the time to meet other people. That alone can provide a reason and a motivation for most people. It’s just fun and interesting to meet others. There is much more of a business reason for it than just being social, but being social can be good place to start. We need people in our lives because they are interesting, they know things, and we are tribal at the core of our being. While there is more to networking, this alone is a great reason to do it. We need people.
Filling Our Rolodexes
At least in the old days we filled our Rolodex’s. Now we fill our phone’s contact app. Have you ever met one of those people who as soon as you mention something they say, “I’ve got someone you should meet.” We need be that person in business. People are a great resource and the more people we know, the more resources that we have our disposal. Sometimes the resource is just an ear that is willing to listen to us and show a little interest in us. Sometimes we need to be the contact that someone feels comfortable contacting for the same reason. The larger our contact list, the wider net we cast, and, if done right, the more fish we catch. A strong contact list may not be the answer to all your business needs, but it can be a potent tool.
Getting Outside of Ourselves
In the business world, ideas are gold. It’s easy to get caught up in your own head and go around and around with your own ideas. And they might be perfectly good ideas and your head may be fine place to be, but the view is limited. When we start to talk to other people, we begin to expand our world and find out what other people are thinking and doing. If we’re smart, we’ll see how we can add what other people are doing successfully to our own repertoire. When we start talking with other people, we allow a fresh stream of ideas in to keep our ponds from going stagnant.
Sometimes Others Can Help
It’s probably best to keep this in the background when meeting people. We don’t want to turn them off by appearing opportunistic or needy. But the truth is we need help once in a while. And the wider your community, the more likely you are know someone who can introduce you to other people or give you advice or any number of things another person can do to help. Just remember, these are gifts that these people give you. Make sure to show proper appreciation and return the favour when you can.