What Is Networking:
15+ Motivation Techniques To Get You Going

what is networking

What is networking? We'll explore what it is, what it isn't and  I'll share 15+ powerful tools and tips (videos, audios,quizzes, and more) to help you use networking to your advantage in your career and personal life.

Let's start out by clicking on this short 1 minute, 23 second video. Professional Speaker & Author Keith Ferazzi makes a compelling case for what networking is and why you should consider doing more of it.  He builds a great case for it AND he's motivating...

Well, what about you? Are you inviting people in?   There IS power in networking and connecting with others, in building a very strong personal and professional network, and that's why it's included in the 5th Wake Up Eager Habit: Re-Calibrate Daily.

What's Stopping You?   A Negative Example...

What is networking - it is NOT this

How true is this Statement for you? "I attend at least 1 organizational or association meeting in my field every quarter."   If it's Not Very True for You right now, what's stopping you?

Sometimes it's because we've had negative experiences in our networking efforts, and so we put off going to meetings to meet new people.

But, if you can flip your perspective - and remember that the best answer to the 'What is Networking?' question is: that it is actively inviting people into your world (as shared in the Video, above) you can begin to see networking in a new way.

If you've been putting off networking, put your mind at ease, effective networking is NOT what you see here, in this negative example:

If you hate, or are fearful of, networking it's probably because you've either met someone like this guy or you're afraid that that's what you're supposed to be doing.   Remember - this NOT the networking we're talking about - replace your old view with the idea that "it's inviting people in" - something totally different from Mr. Obnoxious above!

What is Networking - the Right Way? 
15+ Resources to Do It Well

First, an "Official" Wake Up Eager What is Networking Definition:


What is networking? It is listening to others, asking questions, being of service to others and inviting new information, insights and people into your world.


Dispelling Common Myths & What You Should Be Doing
Networking Expert: Diane Darling

Listen to a free 10 minute audio interview (below) with Diane Darling author and Founder and CEO of Effective Networking. Diane answers the what is networking question by dispelling common myths about networking. She discusses what people should be doing in order to effectively network.

While parts of this interview is geared toward students, everything she shares is applicable to professionals. Diane defines networking in two ways:

  • #1: Building relationships before you need them
  • #2: The transference of trust

She explains that when you are networking you should focus upon what the other person can gain from making contact with you. It should be a symbiotic relationship, rather than just transactional.  Click on the gray play button/arrow below to hear the audio interview of networking expert Diane Darling:



Association Meetings in Your Field/Industry:

what is networking
  • Find associations that interest you, here: Associations Directory services provided by the American Society of Association Executives (ASEA)  (Opens a new window.)  The ASAE Gateway to Associations Directory is easy to use and is updated daily to help you make networking more convenient. This directory service takes you directly to many associations. This page allows you to search for an association by name, interest area, or geographic location. You also can search using a combination of fields.
  • Another resource for finding association and organizational meetings you can attend: Weddle's Association Directory. (Opens a new window.) The Weddle Directory lists several thousand associations from around the world by their primary professional/occupational focus and/or industry of interest.  

How to Listen Aggressively:

In our official 'What is Networking?' definition one of the key elements is listening.  Most people forget this, but if you're a good listener when you network, you will meet more people, be more memorable and you'll know more about other people's needs.

Years ago when I started Priceless I networked with a very influential person. I was nervous. This person know every power player in Atlanta.  He put me at ease immediately by asking questions and listening aggressively. Then he shared contacts and ideas to help me.

That meeting was many years ago, but I'll never forget it. I was so impressed with his willingness to help. I've recommended, referred and sent business to this person, for five years. He made an impression because he listened and shared.

Become more memorable by listening aggressively. That's one of the reasons that leader is so influential - he listens!   Refer to my listening aggressively resource article with a very easy adn effective 4 step process and other tools to help you hone your own listening aggressively skills!


What's Your SCHMOOZE QUOTIENT?

Schmoozer Quiz Creator & Networking Expert Susan Roane advises, "These days, you need to network to survive in the workplace: learning about job opportunities, keeping up with developments among your competitors, Hearing news that can beat the inter-office memo by weeks, and just generally putting yourself in the mainstream.  How good a schmoozer are you?"

Check out this very interesting: Schmooze Quiz: What's Your SCHMOOZE QUOTIENT?
Find Out if You're a World-Class Schmoozer!


Pithy Pointers for Powerful Networking from Susan Roane,The Mingling Maven:

  • Prepare a 7-9 second self-introduction keyed to the event.
  • EXTEND a firm, web to web handshake as a greeting (jellyfish need not apply).
  • Don't save nanoseconds. Take the time for the pleasantries.
  • Networking is a LIFESTYLE not just a workstyle.
  • Good things do NOT come to those who wait … they come to those who INITIATE.
  • Networking is an ENRICHMENT program, not an ENTITLEMENT program. We must earn our referrals and leads.
  • The Banquet of BANTER is a potluck … everyone has to bring something to share.
  • Small Talk is important...it leads to big talk, big business and best friends.

How To Be More Outgoing:

Here's another what is networking resource a second video from Keith Ferrazzi, a 2 minute, 29 second.  Here Keith shares solid tips and insight into how you can be more outgoing.

Here's a Summary of Some of the Key Points in Keith's Video:

  • Reach out to others
  • Find a role model
  • Join Toastmasters: www.toastmasters.org
  • Join a group around your hobbies, you are interested in
  • Unwrap others
  • Be vulnerable first.  More openness from you = more joy and more connections

Wrapping It All Up...

So, if you've been avoiding network, it's my hope that this page of What is Networking videos, tools and tips have you starting to look at this important part of EVERY leader and sales pro career, a little more favorably and with more commitment.

If you'd like more tips and reminders from me on a daily basis around this Topic, and around the other Re-Calibrate Daily Wake Up Eager Habit areas, check out my Book: 120 Stress Management Strategies and Daily Tips where I provide over 40 strategies for building your personal and professional connections, as well as 40 Mind and 40 Body strategies and tips.


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