Instead of Networking, Try Building Relationships
Nobody likes to be treated like a tool, so instead of networking, just work on building relationships with people in your field.
Networking has gotten a bad rap because of how it makes personal relationships subservient to expedient business transactions. Nobody likes to be treated like a tool, so instead of networking, just work on building relationships with people in your field. Chances are, they're looking for someone like you (so why not make it you?). Some tips for building relationships from the Harvard Business Review:
Be honest about your desires: If you have a plan or product ready to go, it’s OK to be up-front about it. “I’ve got an idea for a new product and I think you’d be a great partner.” That’s a simple and effective message that potential investors will appreciate and find refreshing.
Find commonalities: Conversation is often a vehicle for establishing personal rapport even though the literal dialogue pertains to a business idea or current event in the industry. That means finding something you have in common with the person you’re speaking to is a good way of building you’re relationship with him or her.
And by using social media, you can get ahead of the conversation. It’s standard practices for companies to look at prospective employees’ social profiles to learn more about them, so using the same tools can help you find a shared professional interest, hobby, or alma mater. Once you establish some shared ground, proceed with your prepared questions about their business.
Adam Grant, the youngest tenured professor at Wharton and a leading expert on success, explains how he connects with professionals in his field and uses his time with them wisely:
"When I think about a giver, I think about somebody who actually enjoys helping others and often prefers to be on the contributing side of a relationship as opposed to the receiving side and will typically, you know, make introductions, share knowledge, perhaps provide mentoring with no strings attached."
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
You can say 'no' to things, and you should. Do it like this.
- Give yourself permission to say "no" to things. Saying yes to everything is a fast way to burn out.
- Learn to say no in a way that keeps the door of opportunity open: No should never be a one-word answer. Say "No, but I could do this instead," or, "No, but let me connect you to someone who can help."
- If you really want to say yes but can't manage another commitment, try qualifiers like "yes, if," or "yes, after."
Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.
- Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
- Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
- The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
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