I often meet people at networking events and through on-line forums who appear to have a very ‘detached’ and self serving interpretation of what networking is.
Those who turn up randomly to events and hand out their business cards with the hope (and expectation) that this approach will get them lots of business. The equivalent on-line is those who only post their own promotional ‘adverts’ in social media groups and who do not take the time to also connect and engage with others in the group.
And I’m really saddened that these people don’t realise that’s not what networking is about – that their actions are losing them business and they could also be missing out on a lot of great opportunities.
A more heart-centered approach is to ‘give’ to others 80% of the time and to only promote yourself 20% of the time. In other words to listen, connect, share, introduce, help, support and give (time, knowledge or otherwise) most of the time. To be really present in the moment with those you’re ‘talking’ with; to be finding out if there is anything you could help them with; and to be exploring whether this could be or nurturing a mutually beneficial long-term relationship (as per the 7th & 8th Principles of Heart-Centered Leadership).
Personally I’m really gratefully to now be surrounded by a fantastic group of like-minded friends and business associates I’ve met through doing this. And it’s great to see how this inter-connected group people connect, collaborate, support, help and promote each others’ businesses – naturally. It’s one of the things that can make networking so enjoyable.
How much time do you spend connecting with others versus promoting yourself when networking?
I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts – please do share your comments below.
Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world.
She is also the author of two Amazon Best Selling books Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give to Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities Social Causes.
Alisoun is also the founder of The Heartabiz Hub a business network and training academy and has written the following free ebooks:
- The 9 Secrets to Signing Up Clients Without Selling (click here)
- 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
- 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business (click here)
You can connect with Alisoun here:
- Alisoun’s website – www.alisoun.com
- Alisoun Mackenzie Facebook Fanpage (for tips on authentic living and business mastery) – click HERE
- The Heartabiz Hub Facebook Fanpage (for details about our courses and events) – click HERE
- Give To Profit Facebook Fanpage (tips on supporting charities and social causes) – click HERE