A few weeks ago my Smack was about my struggle with imposter syndrome. I wrote about a recent event in which I was a panel member of a roundtable discussion on networking.
I shared that even though I logically know I am an expert at networking, that didn’t stop me from exhibiting nerves, anxiety, and fear around my credibility.
Being networked, connected to other people is critical. Of course it seems like an obvious claim for anyone who is trying to succeed in a professional environment. It is also essential for us to thrive personally. Positive connection is the key to longevity, to better health, to maintain brain cognition, and more.
This begs the question. Is it good enough to know a lot of people? Does it matter WHO the person is? Yes, of course. It is more important to know the “‘right” people rather than “a lot” of people. The mystery seems to lie in how do you go about identifying, meeting, developing and nurturing a relationship with them?
“you can choose the drug store Whitman Sampler OR Swiss-made, The Ecstasy of Gold”
To quote a classic movie, “Life is a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.”
That being said, you can choose the drug store Whitman Sampler, or the Swiss-made Ecstasy of Gold from DeLafée. But, how do you even get to the point where the box in front of you is definitely filled with empowering, quality, unique, compelling – worth the calories – chocolate?
Ready For The Answer?
It’s not universal, some people can and do get around the natural order of things, but the reality is that for most it starts with the Whitman Sampler and evolves into Ecstasy.
I’ll be more specific – what follows here is my suggested path to the ‘Gold’.
How To Surround YourSelf With The Right People:
- GATHER: At the beginning of your networking endeavor you will be served well by meeting a lot of people. And, this is by no means an easy feat. When I say ‘meet’ I mean – begin a dialogue through social media, schedule time, meet face to face (zoom), ask questions – professional and personal. Get to know the person, make a point to keep in touch and add value.
- RESEARCH: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Clubhouse are all fantastic tools by which to sample the goods. You can tell a great deal about someone by their profile and better yet, by their followers, LinkedIN recommendations should they have them, and their VOICE. Now, with Clubhouse we have direct access to many. Talking with someone is the fastest way to figure out to which box of chocolates they belong. And, if you’ve done #1 for a while and well, you’ll be lucky enough to know someone who knows the individual you are interested in and can get an introduction.
- LEVERAGE: As you keep in touch with your growing network, remind those that you find impressive that you are always open to meeting interesting and compelling people. Never sell during these opportunities – you’ll have a higher likelihood of getting that coveted introduction if you don’t.
- RECIPROCATE: You start to get requests – if you’ve done your groundwork, consistently, and have added value along the way your proverbial phone will ring. The word will get around that you are someone worth knowing – worth the investment. I firmly believe the greatest gift we give one another is our time – make it worthwhile; for both of you.
As you stumble-upon high quality people, they will in turn suggest others – let’s face it, good people know good people. Before you know it your network will resemble The Ecstasy box of chocolates where you know no matter which one you choose you’ll be certain of the quality. And, that’s how to surround yourself with the right people!