If you’ve heard one thing in your professional career, more than anything else, it’s probably: Network, Network, Network.
But, in fact, people rarely explained what that meant and how to effectively network. Hence the events where a bunch of people are milling around, passing out business cards, seeking their own agendas and trying to sell everyone something while pretending to like you or create common ground. Sound familiar? You leave the event and immediately feel like you need to scrub off the smooze and may even be disappointed yourself that your goal of making a sale didn’t happen.
Been there, done that.
Professionals are catching on. In fact, it seems like there is a new article on “How-To Network” at least once a week. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – a lot of people could benefit from the advice!
We at Dale Carnegie love this article by Natalie Bounassar for Entrepreneur.com. Why? First and foremost because she goes back to the root of networking – in other words, the Webster Dictionary definition. Doesn’t get much clearer than that. But also because she cites two key concepts we speak on over and over again:
1. The cultivation of productive relationships
“Stop treating people like tools.” Remember that concept of networking with your own agenda in mind. Strike that; replace it with a goal of creating connection.
2. Reciprocate kindness and generosity
One lesson right from a Dale Carnegie Training: Create happiness for others. Sounds like Bousnassar and Carnegie could have been great friends – or at least in agreement about spreading happiness. The bonus to all the personal development? The focus on the greater good of authentic and positive relationships naturally leads to success and a better professional career – but it’s because your personal mindset and focus are in the right place.
To hear the rest of Bounassar’s story and how to really network, check out her article here:
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