All of us, in some conversation, bragged about the network he or she can pull, and the great connections in the industry, and the expertise or the sales contact at reach.
The quality of the network? Always amazing, on the side of the teller. Until you actually need it.
To find work.
To call out for a speaker.
Because you need an expert.
Because you need a favour.
Because you need an honest feedback.
Guess what? In any of these moments, all of a sudden, your network becomes less shiny, people less available, answers more difficult to get.
What makes the difference?
Some of us will never have to find out, because professionally speaking they play behind a big corporation that makes demands much easier to make and the speed of answers almost meaningless. Others, like entrepreneurs for example, or newly converted “one man band” they need their “network” tested much more often.
So, what s the recipe? Here’s mine.
- Give before you ask, and possibly because you mean it, knowing and accepting you might actually not getting anything in return and make peace with it. This can also be referred to a “random act of kindness” in a business context
- Be honest. Like brutally honest. “I am sorry, I can’t make time for this right now” always better then silence. If someone for some reasons brings the worse out of you be vocal, apologise if necessary, but no one will ever blame you to say the truth and if they do stay strong. You did nothing wrong.
- Be kind and open on asking, but know how to take a no for an answer. Accept you might not be the center of the (and their) universe at that particular time
- Big secret: if you are not genuinely interested about the person you are talking to, you can’t pretend someone going the extra mile to help you. In other words, manipulation won’t take you far.
- Empathy is #1 quality needed here. If you talk to someone and you don’t contextualise, put yourself in her shoes, or simply try to figure out what she is NOT saying, simply because you don’t seem to care, you will never CONNECT.
- There are no GOOD or BAD connections, there is simply a good or a bad way to manage them. You always have an opportunity to be helpful to someone in a variety of ways, and that is reciprocally true.
This is a super interesting theme for me, would love to hear your feedback. I might be missing something in my recipe list, but eventually come back and edit.