Networking and socializing: meaning and nonsense
Maybe you are one of the people who prefer to do it all alone because they do not want to give anything out of hand? Or to those who want to divulge as little as possible about their ideas, for fear someone might steal your idea or misuse your trust in some other way.
It must be said: Sure, something like that happens. But in many cases, it pays to cooperate with others instead of beating each other as lone fighters. And you're never completely independent anyway.
Cooperation in the network: Why trust is important
For example, a few years ago, I interviewed the founder of a successful startup. She told me that she was very nervous before founding and kept her idea secret from good friends and acquaintances for fear someone might steal her idea.
When the idea then came to the market, showed in Feedback from customers and staff that many bugs had to be fixed. In retrospect, she found that, if she were to re-found, she would tell everyone of the idea so that she could get any feedback that was possible, because that would only improve the product.
How does the targeted construction of a network work?
Working with other people has many benefits. But how do you do that, so how do you build a good network of contacts?
Networking should be a give and take. Targeted networking does not mean that you just write down in your address book who you might ask in an emergency. Networking does not mean having any, but as many contacts as possible, though that sometimes helps. Many situations require only a few, but absolutely appropriate contacts - and to make, shape and maintain them requires a high degree of personal commitment. Because only if you know what information or help you could get from whom, networking helps you further.
Networking: It's about help, not about profit
Targeted networking also does not mean attracting only useful contacts, even if it is often associated with them. It is often forgotten that networks are not primarily there to benefit, but to help each other - for example with words and deeds, information and motivation. If you look at networks as exchange platforms, successes come naturally.
A metaphor clarifies the networking principle: the networker throws out his nets like a fisherman. By accident or diligence, he catches big and small fish, which brings profit, but some fish also escapes him, when the net travels. That's why he has to keep making and renewing it carefully. So networking is the methodical and systematic networking of useful contacts, which helps the chance to meet the right people.
Making contacts: It's about trust
But: A network with people that you really do not like and to which you just want to be nice in order to someday gain an advantage, can hardly be sustained in the long run. Search for specific contact with the people, in which the personal sympathy factor is right. Because networks require intuition:
If you are not turning to good friends, you must first gain confidence. The lower your own expectations, the better, because: Usually, people are happy about their honest interest in you. Those who meet others openly and honestly without too many ulterior motives build trust. Also, the common interest in a particular topic can create trust.
Building a network: Serendipity helps
However, trust is quickly lost if you can overlook all too quickly that you are only interested because you expect something from the other. If you can not offer a corresponding countervalue, you will unconsciously leave behind the impression that you are being used - and the contact leaves.
Therefore, do not start from the consideration "What do I need", but also from the question: "For whom can I do something?". Give and take should, however, keep the balance. Often, networking also works indirectly in very intricate ways via third parties. This principle is called serendipity.
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