A Networking tale : A Philosophy
A young lady, who I will call Jane (real name withheld), hired my services as her CareerManagement Coach a while back. After our preliminary sessions on self-awareness, in whichI administered several tests and psychometric tools; I proceeded to ask her to design the
next 10 years of her life. One particular goal caught my attention, “…to meet a Nobel prizewinner from a third world country.”
I then asked her, “Who she had to “become” to meet th
is person? Her blank stare told meall I needed to know
she had no idea.My next session with her proved pretty interesting
she informed me that she now had the
man’s telephone number (I recall she had a smirk on her face as she waved the slip of
r containing his number right in my face). On hearing this, I said to Jane, “
now have his number, why don’t you place a call through to him right now?
hearing this, Jane replied, “I can’t!”, I then asked her, “why not?”, she said, “oh I don’tknow”, I then said to her, let me tell you why you cannot call him,
“you have not become
the kind of person that can call him
you need to do your homework to unearth hishobbies, goals and even some of his challenges; you also need to find out what is he is likeas a human being, what is he passionate about, and some of his proudest achievements;when you are done with getting all this information, you then have to identify where youhave common interests with him etc. (Shared interests are often the building blocks of anyrelationship not common chitchat).What even stands out as more important than the above, is
who you are
(the fact that wemeasure everything and everyone by our own beliefs and impressions
we don’t see things as they a
re but as we are
), relative to the kind of person you aretrying to build a relationship with. What I am trying to say in essence is that you will onlyattract sustainable networking relationships in alignment with the kind of person you are
all pointing to the importance of personal development in networking.
It’s hard to estimate these days how many working professionals in Nigeria have the
telephone numbers of influential persons in the society; obviously gleaned from diversesources, and in most cases these people do not know who you are. This happens because
many people believe that networking is about reaching out to people for helpwhen you need something
such as a job.
The truth however is that no one likessomeone who comes around when they nee
d something and disappears when they don’t.
You must build it before you need it
you must reach out long before you need anything atall (and this applies to everyone).
What real networking is?
Real networking, according to Keith Ferrazzi, is about finding ways to make other peoplemore successful , it entails sharing knowledge and information without expecting anythingin return, you must give and give and give freely first without keeping score
you pay itforward!Herminia Ibarra defined networking as, creating a fabric of personal contacts that providesupport, feedback, insight, resources and information. It entails the building of alliances;