Networking

“It is better to give than to receive.”

A good way of looking at Networking is in terms of karma. Corporate Karma is not some sort of cosmic force it is a straight forward understandable consequence of the information flows. As we will see below it works well on an individual basis, though clearly it can be key to extend the same principles to the company as it scales.

Below are a few of the simple and straightforward principles of networking that form the basis of good corporate karma.

  • Always try to add value
  • Spend some time with the person you are meeting trying to understand how you can help them. If it is possible to do it straight away then do so.

  • You do not need to gain from providing value. To provide value is sufficient in and of itself.
  • If you are providing value people will percieve you as someone who adds value. They will talk about you as someone who adds value. When they can use your services they will know that you add value and will use them.

  • If people would gain from meeting introduce them
  • This is just another way of adding value. If you think they would gain do not offer to arrange an introduction for a fee, just introduce them.

  • Always say if you will follow up and then do it
  • This is just politeness but it makes more difference than you would think. If you met but did not follow up it is as if you never met. They may remember but they can do nothing about it, so nothing will come of it.

So how, or more importantly why, does corporate karma work. The how is simple. By providing value your corporate karma increases. Because you have good karma people come to you with offers and suggestions. The world seems to work in your favour.

Why does this work? It sounds like some warm, fuzzy and totally unrealistic world view. We will be back to that cosmic force in a minute if we are not careful. So let’s examine what is happenning in terms of the information flows:

  1. You are providing value
    • You are learning about what really drives their business
    • You are learning about what motivates them personally
    • They are learning that you can provide value
    • They are getting a positive experience at no apparent cost
  2. You have been genuinely interested in the other person and what they do. This makes for reciprocal interest.
    • They already know you will provide value and that you understand their business.
    • Their interest means they learn about what you can do so they know where to recommend you
    • They already know at least some things you can do for them specifically
    • They think of you as a safe pair of hands
  3. You have provided un prompted introductions so they will look for opportunities to do the same

Thus when something comes up that would usefully use you you will immediately come to mind. Also having had a good experience providing value they may occassionally mention you to others. Certainly if someone asks for a reccomendation that would suit you then a recommendation is likely.

Jason Cobine runs a class in networking if you are interested. Just contact me through my contact page and I will:

  1. Find out the details
  2. Send you the details
  3. Add the details to this page

PS A personal note: A quick word to say that this works in real life. Over the last year I have had a mother with terminal cancer, I have left full time employment, I have come down with Multiple Sclerosis, I have had to deal with my schizophrenic brother’s legal problem. Over all the year has been pretty savage and I have found it all a bit immobilising. The MS was at one point such that I could crawl but not walk. I have survived over this year through jobs that came and found me. I have enough social capital, good enough corporate karma if you like, that people know there is a value in using me. I am now much recovered and whilst not yet running I can manage a fast walk. The background has lead to me being choosier about what work I will take but has not limited me from anything I want to work on. I should probably have been pickier before all this instead of over extending myself. In essence good corporate karma has allowed me to survive in a tough economy with little or no oomph. Now my oomph is back I am helping people out again, it is the right way to live…