Start Seeing the World as People
The first thing, building social capital, this social capital is the idea of value, what you give and take from others, the social currency that you may have in your relationships, that you build inside your relationships. And that's what we're gonna start with here. Film. All right. So you can follow along in your workbook, but you don't need to read everything, the slides are not actually going to be included in there, so don't be, I used to do this in school, too. Don't work ahead and go do all these things, and be like, I'm done. I'm done before everyone. It's not really gonna matter. We're gonna give you time to do that. We're gonna give you time for questions as well. So if something is confusing, you can shoot your hand up like a, like a gunner we called them in law school. But otherwise, just hold it, and when we do the workbook exercises, you can ask about anything in the current unit that we're doing. So, try not of course, ask a question about something that happened three h...
ours ago if you don't mind. But we're happy to make sure that this is all clear for you. Because if you're thinking it, half the room is thinking it and didn't say anything. I guarantee you that. All right. Start seeing the world as people. Now, what comes to mind, talk box, when you think about networking? What comes to mind for you guys? And I'll start over here, because you're smiling, which means you accidentally volunteered to talk.
Where's our talk box?
There we go.
You won't do that again, will ya?
Standing in that awful room with all those glad-handers who actually really just want something out of me.
Right, so, you know you're just sort of setting yourself up as prey when you go to these things, right? All right. I'm a dollar sign. I'm a number, an Email address in an Email list. Okay.
Um, partially, you know, business could come out of this, but who are all of the cool people and potential clowns I'm going to meet along the way?
Okay, so do you find yourself judging, and I don't mean this in a harsh way. I'm not gonna pick on you. Do you find yourself pre-judging people that you see, like, oh this person's not gonna be any good, and this person might be really great? Okay. That's very common, totally natural. You're not gonna be able to turn that off unless you try, but sometimes it can cause us to trip over our own feet. Okay, cool. Let's just keep picking on the front row, because they sat in the front row. (laughter)
I guess, wondering what kind of connections it's gonna be? Just superficial conversation or longterm connections that can actually be built?
Right on, so are these gonna be relationships that are essentially worthwhile, or is it gonna end the second I walk out of this YMCA mixer with my mocktail in my plastic cup?
Got it. Okay. Last, but not least?
Just maybe just the basic challenges of starting that conversation, not doing the, what's your name? What do you do for work? And, you know, having something more than a basic conversation to keep it interesting and then to gather something more from that person.
Perfect, so, are these relationships gonna get any deeper? Is there anything here other than, cool, what do you do? Oh, right. I have a dog, too. Dogs are really cool. See you later. And then rinse and repeat for the whole event, yeah. It's funny. These are the, four of the most common archetypes of questions or feelings that people have, and I think if we went through the whole group here, there would be 99% overlap in what y'all just said. There's probably a few other outliers, but really, most people feel the same way. And the reason that I threw the talk box in, or that I had Chris throw the talk box in, is because I want everybody to see, and the 10,000 people watching this, you know, as well, to see, like, oh, okay. Everyone pretty much feels the same way about this process that might be scary, or irritating, or valueless, or whatever other adjective that maybe scares people away from taking part in these networking and relationship building events. In fact, networking itself is a dirty word. We were on the fence about even using it, because when you hear networking you think of all this negative stuff. You think of, ugh, do I need to go to, you know, this dumb online company and print off cheapo business cards that when they blow in the wind, they bend and crease, and hand them out to everybody? I don't wanna do that. I don't wanna sell myself, and force my protein shakes on other people. I don't want those people doing it to me, I don't wanna become one of them. So, it's almost a dirty word at this point. So when we say networking, let's, in our heads, map that to relationship building, relationship development, making connections, making friends. Whatever you want to do, just set it in a different mental, emotional silo than the word networking, which I think has already been dragged through the mud so much by the experiences we've all had in the past. And 10 years ago, we were exactly the same way, you know? I know AJ and I, we started off with this process going, all right, well, I used to be an attorney. AJ was a cancer biologist, and it's like, we gotta do this networking thing. I guess we should just go to a bar and start talking to people? Is that how this works? Okay. So we showed up, and we stood in a corner, and then after a while we did all kinds of crazy antics so that we could no longer stand in a corner and get away with it, and over a decade and change, we learned, over a decade now, well over a decade, we learned some of the tips and tricks that we're gonna teach you here, and the mindsets more importantly, that we're gonna convey to you here today. So, networking is surface level exchanges. It's really, of course, is you know, the worst way of connecting with people. The business cards, the obligatory fake follow-up: pleasure meeting you, here's my website. Right? The whole networking dance feels disingenuous because it is. So the goal of this course is not to become better networkers, the goal is to become great relationship managers and developers. And this is not about, of course, how many LinkedIn connections you get. True networking, true relationship building is about the quality of your relationships. That is it. If you go to a mixer and you meet, if you go to a week long event, and you meet one person and you're friends with them for a decade, was it worth while? Of course it was. But if you go to 100 mixers, and you meet nobody, then obviously that was a huge waste of time. So, it really is only about the quality. It's always, always, always just about that. I met one of my best friends at some event that a week long 10 years ago, almost 10 years ago now. I can barely remember anything we did there other than me having lunch with this guy once, and then eight months later calling him and going, hey I moved to your town, and now we are thick as thieves, I think is the expression. So you can think of social capital as value, utility, or influence. And when I say influence, I mean that in a benign way. I don't want people thinking like, all right, we're gonna hypnotize people into liking us. This is community, opportunity, connection. It's all the positive stuff. Let's throw the positive connotations in, and put the rest in the bucket with the word networking. You can also think of social capital and social currency as knowledge, expertise, and insight. So every cold, impersonal, anonymous process, every job opening, embassy appointment, doctor visit, whatever, can be turned into a set of relationships if you put this stuff into action. It's not gonna happen every time, obviously. I don't make a lot of friends at the doctor, but, I mean, it's possible. And this is what the best networkers and relationship development folks really understand, is that the opportunities are actually everywhere. You don't have to go to an event where you have a name tag and it says, I'm here to network, or here to party, or whatever. You can meet these folks just about anywhere, and the odds are that you will because for every one month that you spend an hour at a networking event, you're spending all of the rest of those hours, other than sleeping and maybe hanging out alone or with your significant other, you're spending them with other people that you may be able to connect with at some level. And as you know, these relationships are driven by humans, duh. And relationships are driven by social capital. So we've got a drill for you, I know, already. Geez, the talk box, and now this? So, write this down, maybe on the forehead of the person next to you. Just kidding. Do not do that. Write this down somewhere that you will see it. Treat everyone that you meet from here on out, just forever, as if you will know them for years, even if you've just met them. And this includes the people sitting next to you in class here today. If you're watching this from the comfort of your own home, you're not off the hook. You're gonna go get a coffee after this, not during, 'cause it's so riveting, but afterwards you might. And then, I want you to treat everyone that you meet like you will know them for years. And what this does, well actually, talk box. How do you think you might act a little bit differently? What differences in the way that you treat people might you have if you think, I'm gonna know this person for five years? I'm gonna see this person again every two weeks. How might, how differently might you act? Let's go to the second row here. We already picked on the first row quite a bit.
I saw a hand over there, too.
Oh did ya?
You have something?
All right, let's do it. We'll go to the other front row. Bang.
Uh, so if I've known the person for a while, I'll definitely have much more intimate connection, and just deeper conversations, and just, it's just more casual. There's no forcefulness, there's no structure. You talk very casually. Yeah.
Okay, so you actually caught on something that I hadn't even thought of, and essentially you, you're saying if you had known them already for years, that's great. That's even possibly even better. What I was looking for was you're meeting this person brand new, and you know that you're going to keep seeing them, but you're right. You would be much more relaxed, and it would be much more casual if you act how you act around your friends with other people. And we're gonna work on some of that comfort, and non-verbal communication, and relaxing later on today as well. So what if you knew this was the first time you'd ever met the person, but you knew, all right, I'm gonna see this person every two weeks for the next five years, so you can't, you can't blow them off like you would, right? You can't, when I meet somebody who's, for example, an airline flight attendant, or something like that, I'm not gonna go, uh yeah, I'll have a coffee, thanks, bye. Right? I might actually give them the time of day, and look them in the eye and smile, and put forth just a little bit more energy into the interaction because I know that I'm going to see that person again. In fact, you almost certainly will see flight attendants more than one time, so, you should do that. But I've noticed a lot of people will treat service people, or people they don't think they're going to see again, Uber drivers, whatever, I'm just gonna text. I'm not even gonna say anything to this person at all. And you're probably not missing out on too much, but wouldn't it be just a little nicer if we treated everybody with that one percent extra, five percent extra respect and attention that we would give somebody that we knew we were gonna see again? So this mindset, I think, in my humble opinion is a game changer for the way that you impress upon other people a great first impression. And we're gonna focus a lot on first impressions later in the course as well.