Get the RIGHT networking Mind-set and Skill Set

Posted on September 24, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

by Trey McAlister and Dr. Ivan Misner

When you’re thinking about becoming a more skilled networker, you usually think about what you can do to network more effectively. This includes teaching others what kinds of referrals you’re looking for, asking for referrals from your clients, and using incentives for those referring you. These are all components of your skill set.

And while it’s important to know the right tings to do while networking, it’s equally important to start thinking the right way to make your networking efforts as successful and dynamic as they can be. This involves altering your mind-set. Let’s take an up-close look at some elements you’ll want to include in your mind-set to ensure networking success:

The Law of reciprocity – or “Givers Gain” approach.

The law of reciprocity sets in motion in-kind responses of individuals based on the actions of others. I like to call this the “Givers Gain” approach. You shouldn’t approach networking thinking, I did this for you, now what are you going to do for me? Rather, you should remember the old adage “give and you shall receive.”

The law of reciprocity takes the focus off of what you stand to gain from the networking relationship, and in doing so, creates bonds based on trust and friendship. Put it to the test. You’ll be amazed by the outcome.

This concept sometimes is stymied because people look at the relationship as an equal (or identical) reciprocity meaning “I give you a referral and you give me a referral” and think “they should be able to easily refer me, but I can’t figure how to refer them.”  Instead, if people understand that reciprocity is really about equitable reciprocity (not necessarily equal or identical), this frees people to “give” in different ways and still be extremely mutually beneficial.

Diversity in Networking.

Look for groups that don’t target people just like you. In this way, you’ll broaden the net you seek to cast for referrals. There are many great networking organizations out there. If you stay only in groups that focus on your profession, you lose the breadth you need to develop a wide-reaching network.

By developing the wide-reaching network, you actually enhance your ability to do #1 above.  By being in multiple diverse networks (time permitting!!!) you enhance your chance of gaining valuable contacts, but more importantly you enhance your value to each of the other networks by being the conduit (or gatekeeper) to the other networks.


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