Networking the Right Way
The first question when we think about networking the right way, you know, how do how do we do? This is what? What is personal branding really have to do with networking? How do these guys fit together, aside from the fact that both sometimes freaked people out because they feel sleazy and transactional? S o you know, I guess this is this is my specialty, my special brand eyes, you know, talking about things that people feel nervous about and say, no, no, really it's not sleazy, I promise, but I actually I actually do mean it because our whole life is relationships. I mean, we know this, right? I think all of us, you know, as creative professionals would like to build a network of people that we that we like and respect and trust, you know, I mean, you read about things like the harlem renaissance or bloomsbury or something like that, and, you know, we're like all the beat poets and it's like, why can't I have something like that, like, that's? Amazing, why can't I have a network of re...
ally great, likeminded creative professionals in my orbit? Or, you know, people who, you know you can bounce ideas off of, learned from get new ideas from aunt also people who are part of your network or the people who can either hire you or connect you with people who hire you, which, as we all know, is critical if we want to be successful entrepreneurs, if we really want to be creative professionals in the last thing in sustainable way, we have to make sure that in our networking that we also think about people who are interested in buying our services or the products that we make so, you know, that's all part of you know, the a holistic approach to having a business that can last a lifetime. And so how do we do it without it being so transactional were talking yesterday about the research by francesca gino of harvard business school and the fact that when people did what was called instrumental networking, quote unquote people felt really sleazy little really dirty afterwards, and it is because an instrumental networking you are literally treating people like a tool you're treating them as, oh, I need this thing, so I will then tap you to get me this thing, and that really is the wrong way to do it. I mean, people can feel that they can sniff it a mile away nobody likes to be treated that way we don't want you to treat people that way that is not good networking that's actually example of bad networking we think about good networking it's about building riel honest relationships were sure that person helps you you help that other person that's what you do for friends and you know not everybody has to be your best friend in the world but you have to like them and really enjoy it and that you know that's that's the goal of networking in my book reinventing you, I actually interviewed a woman named karen who had switched in her career from being a lawyer to being the head of career services at a university and she told me that when she was a lawyer and she was in that phase where she was not really happy with her job and trying to think you know what I want to do she said that for her networking was actually a lifeline because she said, you know what? At least she was very aggressive about setting things up because she loved networking she loved meeting people and she said at least every day I get to have lunch with someone interesting and that was really the highlight of her day. You know, when she was unhappy with her job that every day she had something to look forward too because she was meeting amazing new people and that's really what I would like it to be for you guys you know the feeling that wow it's an adventure it's not some terrible high stress so I have to go to this thing and there's five hundred people and I don't know what I'm gonna have to give them business cards and the fake nobody wants to do that that stocks what we want is for to really feel like wow, isn't it incredible that every day I don't? I don't even know what new opportunities were going to come to me or what new connections are going to come, but there's there's a a world behind that that's that's pretty exciting that's the upside of networking that I really hope that we can experience and susan rohan who's going to be joining us is just, you know, we're literally a master of it and can talk about the right way to do it, but you were talking a little bit, yes stray about the importance of networking because we were we're seeing, and I just want to reiterate that research has really shown that if you have abroad in diverse network, it can be very powerful for your career because if you know all of the same type of people, probably they know the same things as you they have access to the same resource is ideas and whatever and it's very easy to get in a rut, even creatively, because you're all having this kind of echo chamber dialogue, so if you are really strategic about thinking well how did I meet new different kinds of people can I you know can I goto you know, a new event or can I make a point of asking someone to lunch that maybe we've been acquaintances and have run into each other you know, for five years for you know like five minutes at a time but maybe I could really get to know this person that khun broaden you and as we were saying with ronald burt's research from the university of chicago it's part of what makes you a hub and that makes you indispensable in your network you're connecting other people you're bringing in ideas and it makes you and the creative work that you do more innovative as well as leading to greater professional success mark ran abettors research shows with a strength of weak ties that it's it's the acquaintances is that the people at the fringe that can make sure that you have those new ideas in those new opportunities and why is this so critical now I mean networking has always been useful it's always been important but in the internet era where the bounds of the people that we know has just exploded I mean you probably have you know I mean I don't even know I probably have a thousand facebook friends maybe more who knows it's you know it's it's it's uh it's a lot to keep track of for anyone and so the trick and we're going to talk about this later in the segment is how do you prioritize how do you actually you know, triage not not in it's a bad way but in a really proactive good way about who do I want to make sure I am reaching out to and spending more time with something that I would like to plant in your mind as we go through through the course of this segment is out of those people this universe of people that maybe you see sometimes but not that often you like him? You think they're interesting but just life hasn't conspired to throw you together I would really love it if we could think about how can you be more strategic in cultivating those relationships for too many of us we just left let life happen to us you know we're we're friends with somebody because over there your neighbour oh, you see them at work or you see them at the gym but if we really want to be deliberate, we have to think know who are the people that I know a little bit that I would like to know more and we have to think who were the people that I don't even know at all but I would like to somehow bring into my life if we can answer those questions and be deliberate then it'll exponentially multiply our success we I have to be take control people for our lives and for our careers and that doesn't mean, you know, hunting people down because oh, I think you can get me something and so that's why I'll bring you into my life it's it's honestly about embracing ourselves because you know you can bring value to that other person too if someone seems like wow, they're doing something so interesting I would like to learn about that I'd like you know, maybe if you want to collaborate maybe it's just that you like the way they think and you know you think you could you could add value back but it's the ultimate affirmation of relationships and so I wanted to tell you a little a little quick story about one of my most popular blogger post that that I've ever written for my forbes blawg and he was called this title how to get someone to like you immediately and so you know, it was like, oh, wow, everybody was clicking on it it was very popular you can see why right? Because we're all a little nervous when we when we first meet people and we want them to lie like us immediately but you know it feels like luck it feels like chance, you know, like, oh well, you click with some people you don't with others but this is roberts albini he is on emeritus professor at arizona state university who whose research on wingmen I alluded to yesterday and this morning we actually kicked it off with an exercise where some of you guys were practising that but robert sheldon e has done a lot of really fascinating research in the area of influence in persuasion and when I interviewed him during the course of researching my book reinventing you he told me something really fascinating he said that if you do want to get someone to like you immediately there's a really clear thing that that we should all keep in mind and dio and that isthe here's here's the secret folks you know here here's yet another million dollars secret right that you could apply and use today which is if you meet someone the very first thing that you should try to do is find some point of commonality with them what whatever it is it could be a profound commonality I mean maybe you guys you know have the same spiritually beliefs and you met in church and that's something that bonds you maybe it's that you went to the same college. So you have that shared experience maybe it's that you're both professions successful professional women and so you can talk about that maybe you have kids who were the same age but even if you can't immediately sense a commonality what chaldean he says is that we need to dig until we find one, because as long as someone regards you as other it's not going to be as close of a relationship, you know, of course sure you're you know, you're a fellow human being, but, uh but that's, not really enough. You want somebody to say, oh, this persons like me, you know, we we click and so even if it's, you know you have a hobby oh, you like to run whatever. So you want to ask questions until you dig and find that nugget of a place where you can connect and bond and that's not it's kind of a fake exercise. It's legitimately trying to say, you know what I have in common with this person so that you can really begin to think of each other is piers, we talked yesterday a little bit about this concept, the fact that if you are, you know, acting with anyone, like, like, kind of a supplicant or, you know, there's sort of a weird distance, then it's it's never going to be quite right when you relate. But if you really want to get someone to like you it's, how do you find this this common bond, and then almost immediately, it can be a powerful force for connecting and bringing people together.