By: Dan McCann
On several occasions, I’ve had to remind my teenage son that none of us lives on an island. We live in community, which means giving and taking, providing and relying on each other for support. So, it may seem hypocritical when I say, “I am not a networker. I don’t ‘network.’”
I am a relationship builder. That’s what it’s all about right? Forging human connections that are going to enhance my life and my business, approaching it all with a mindset of service to others. Old school networking says, “What can you do for me?” A fresh perspective says, “What can I do for you?”
Networking? Relationship building? That’s just semantics, right? It’s the same thing. Perhaps. But I’d argue there is an attitude shift when we talk about “networking” versus connecting with others and building relationships.
Award-winning social media strategist Aurora Meyer says, “Networking is nothing more than cultivating business-based friendships and acquaintances. This is something you should be doing whether or not you are looking for a new job.” (Or we might add new business, new suppliers, new employees, new partners…)
If we approach these interactions with an attitude of human connection and service to others, then it becomes a natural extension of those things that bring us real fulfillment. Every hand we shake or card we pass out has the potential of developing into a new, working partnership – a new relationship and a chance to assist.
At the minimum, as Meyer contends, these events make us better at meeting people – an important benefit considering none of us lives on an island.