The Truth about Networking

The truth about networking is that you do not network, you build a relationship.

Networking has become a overused term and has been loaded with a variety of meanings. Ranging from confusion between “Are you talking about a network between computers or people?” to something salespeople do for a living. For our conversation, I will be referring to the people side of networking.

5241458406_b3ccfee74e_b.jpgThere is nothing wrong with the term networking. It refers to the interconnection between people.  The key word being “interconnection”.

Al lot of people who think they network, do so from the assumption that we are meeting each other to get something.

Yes, ultimately all human interactions can be simplified to an economic transaction. There is a constant exchange of various resources: energy, attention, words, services, products and ultimately money. But this exchange is based on the foundation of being in a relationship. More specific – a trusting relationship.

As humans we very quickly decide if we are safe with someone or not. It happens unconsciously, but our actions towards a person is based on this interpretation. So if you want to be a truly effective in networking, build trusting relationships.

Trusting relationships asks us to invest time and involvement. This investment in the process of cultivating trusting relationships result in a sustainable and a higher quality of resource exchange. Making the ROI worth while.


Tomato Wisdom and Us

To know a tomato is a fruit is knowledge, to not put a tomato in a fruit salad is wisdom. tomato

I would like to use this a popular meme to highlight a source of mismanagement of our interactions with each other.

We need to distinguish between the three concepts: Information, knowledge and wisdom.

Information is random facts or figures. The world is full of it. We can search anything under the sun and we will find sites full of information.

Knowledge is when we assimilate the information into ourselves and know how it applies to us. We form opinions and assumptions by taking the information through the filtering process of our belief systems, mental models and prior knowledge.

Wisdom is when we use our knowledge appropriately. Our meme is a good example. That a tomato is a fruit is just information, the fact that I know I have tomatoes in the fridge is knowledge. Wisdom is when I put the tomato in a green salad and not a fruit salad.

Let us take this line of thought into our interpersonal interactions. I may know something about myself related to you. For example I tell you: “You look good in that jacket, it complements the color of your eyes”. When I share this with you, it is just information that you receive.

When you take this information and interpret it in the context of what to wear to the next party, it becomes knowledge. It becomes wisdom when you use this knowledge to impress your date at the restaurant.

Most interpersonal communication is just sharing information. “It will be cold today”, “Did you see the game last night?” It is only when we take the information and personalize it that it becomes knowledge. So be careful what information you make knowledge. We do not need to take every opinion of every individual personally. We can keep it in the safe zone of just information they are sharing. It is their opinion.

When we trust the source of the information, then we can personalize it. Personalized information becomes knowledge but also be wise in using it. Even from a trusted source, knowledge must be applied appropriately.

Sometimes you do not want to look lovely for a date, but professional to close a deal. You are in charge of using the knowledge you have. Be wise.

Sharing my info


Thinking is easy

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thinking is easy. We all do it all the time. Unfortunately not everybody is aware of their thinking. Most people are on autopilot. Never questioning the mindset they received. Very seldom do the average person engage in an exploration of their own thinking. Those that do, have the opportunity to excel.

If we do not change our mind once in a while, we are not using it. Not using your mind leads to decay. Or as someone said “Use it or lose it”.

The invitation today is to start using your mind with a simple question: What is happening?

The normal question most people ask is “Why is it happening?”. This is not a very good question to start any process with. First observe what is happening. Be  aware and amazed at the detail. Try to see patterns.  Weird connections.

Then take a step back and look at yourself observing. Be fascinated with your own thinking. Ask of your self “What are you thinking?” (also refrain from asking why are your thinking what you are thinking – this will just lead you away from your thinking).  It helps to write your thoughts down.

Once you have observed your own thinking. Play with it. What will happen if I change this element of my thinking? Maybe you decide you do not like aspects of your thinking. How would you like it to be? Change it to something you like. What difference will this make? Change your mind and observe the new effect.

Thinking is easy and it can be fun. Change your mind to create the world you are happy to live in. Then see how you can download this new mindset into your actions.

This becomes the new challenge. Are your ready to go there?