Networking, networking, networking. I’m listening about it everyday, everybody mention it, everywhere. People spend time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr,… They are robots, can’t live without posting that they just left home, meet some actor across the street or their cat just poo. They spending more time on social networks than really working their job and living their private lives. What is happening with this people ? Did they loose their mind ? Do they really know what is the real meaning and concept behind networking? Do you and me need to be in the sam trance, exposed everywhere if I want successful career and personal recognition ?
Fortunately, I don’t think you need the same trance, at least not in the same quantity. In my honest opinion, reason for networking should be creation of good, quality people connections and friendships. You should not going somewhere just to be seen or to to increase number on your “friendship” list. You can build you friendships on another, more constructive ways.
A couple a years ago, I was reading a book from Emil Cioran, Romanian philosopher, who was claiming that reason why people meet other people is to compare their misery with someone’s else, so they can feel then better and get some hope. My view has never been so dark and cynical and it is completely against my being. As peoples are essentially social beings, their need for connections is big. In ancient times, it was need for security and create tribes, today is need for recognition and valuation. While babies got their necessary sensory and social stimulation through cuddling, adults getting stimulation mostly through social connections, personal recognition, talks and friendships.
Somewhere at the end of my childhood years, i read one very important book which made a big influence on the rest of my life and how I should treat people. That was a book from Dale Carnegie “How to win friends and influence people ”. I still remember his suggestion there:
“Why not study the technique of the greatest winner of friends the world has ever known ? Who is he? You may meet him tomorrow coming down the street. When you get within ten feet of him, he will begin to wag his tail. If you stop and pat him he will almost jump out of his skin to show you how much he likes you. And you know that behind this show of affection on his part, there are no ulterior motives.”
Carnegie also said: “I have discovered from personal experience that one can win the attention and time and cooperation of even the most sought-after people by becoming genuinely interested in them.”
And this is similar to my experience as well. This idea lead me in contact with all people. Every man is worth some knowledge. some specificity. No one is completely the same. Knowing more people , you are extending your model, your map of the world. I was having good connections with “hard” professors at Uni, unpleasant customers, tough managers, subordinates and untouchable top company people. Just be sure you are not fake it ! If you fake it, your focus is not completely on them, on what they are saying to you and people can feel that.
All philosophy, which is now part of me is contained in next few Carnegie suggestions:
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinions.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
- If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
These are certainly “receipt” for a good people skills. And you will be amazed with results. Your boss is a human like you. Show him that you appreciate his extensive knowledge, experience and mastery. Ask him sometimes about his wishes, dreams, family, pets or hobbies. Don’t be afraid to ask. You will probably get sincere friend and great supporter.
Suggested action points
I am sure that every of Carnegie suggestion is more powerful and useful than new 20-30 Facebook or LinkedIn connections. Try to adopt one per week and let it be part of your everyday live and communication.