Many of my readers have been asking me to elaborate on what I meant as the 6 Core Values of networking, so I decided to elaborate more upon it.
Networking starts with the Self
In order to network, you must be worth networking with. Networking goes both ways. You’re not only trying to enrich your life through your friends and contacts, you are trying to do the same for these people too. Knowing a million people who think lowly of you is useless. These are the six Core Values that must be acquired to truly network well. Without these core values, networking will just be an empty action that means very little, just like playing only the notes on an instrument without any rhythm, dynamics, tone and feelings.
The 6 Cores of Networking are:
While some people might think, “these are things people are born with! I know I lack that, but I can’t do anything about it!” The truth is that we have more control over ourselves than most would think. All it takes is attitude and a constant will to be better. You can’t change yourself immediately, but you can’t become a great musician overnight either. It takes good attitude to change your attitude.
Integrity is different from acting ethical and making people think that you are a good person. That’s one of the byproducts of this core value. Instead of having people think you are a great person, BE A GREAT PERSON. Integrity is about your decisions if you didn’t have to worry about consequences. The idea is to simply have pride in your life for who you are. Be liable not only to others but also to yourself. In the long run, people will know your true values, and if they regard you as a person of high integrity, you have achieved a high level in networking. Even if people never find out, which is unlikely if you do things correctly, you know you can walk this world with your head lifted high. There’s nothing shady in you.
In terms of actual Networking, this could be the most important core characteristic. The basic principle about networking is to stop just thinking about your own benefits. Care about others! Try to help them as much as possible. Don’t be phony. Try to find the part of yourself that derives joy when you see others achieve success, especially when you know it’s because of your help. Don’t think about returns. Think about win-win and relationships.
No one likes to see others sad and grumpy all the time (unless they are sick-minded themselves). Being optimistic means you can be a source of motivation that people draw hope from. It is a vital force that keeps yourself productive too. How can you accomplish much if most of your time you are
coping with your sadness? Finally, optimism is necessary considering the cold turndowns you will experience while learning the craft of Networking.
When you are optimistic, it is easy to be confident. When I say confident, I don’t mean thinking yourself superior than everyone else. That’s arrogance. Confidence is to know that you are valuable because of who you are, instead of what you CAN do. A confident person not only sees all the good things in him/herself, but also sees all the good things in others. He/she knows clearly that everyone does at least one thing that he/she completely sucks at, if not dozens more. Confidence is important because when people don’t know you, they can only rely on what you portray to them. How you view yourself is often projected to others. If you think you are insignificant, you will act that way, and others will view you as insignificant. Remember the principle that “No other human being is too good for you” and everyone has a reason to think you are important if you give him/her one. You must lead others in believing in yourself. I often tell people I give advice to: confidence is everything minus one. Like n-1, it is not everything, but it is almost everything in this world.
Nothing will happen if nothing starts. Unless you are truly successful already, people won’t come to you. You have to go to people. Successful professionals are great people to know (assuming a sincere attitude towards them), and if you are the only person trying to know them, you are ahead of the game already. Taking initiative means you have to overcome your comfort zone. You must be adventurous and be willing to explore out of your bubble. At the end of the day, nothing bad will happen. If you express your respect for someone and admiration (if truthful) of what she has done, even if she does not reply, at worse you made someone feel good about herself. Without seeking, you won’t find.
This is probably the most difficult out of all the disciplines.Persistency means never giving up. If someone ignores your email, send another one (after some time so you don’t seem desperate). What happens in life is that good things that seem unavailable will open up for the guy who goes the extra mile, and who still seeks after being turned down. Now the hard part is to find the clear line between being persistence and being an egocentric bastard. If people say no and you keep pushing until they feel they must say yes, that is obviously horrendous behavior. You won’t go far with that, as people will start to hide from your sight when they see you. However, the chances are, if someone didn’t reply to your email, it’s because even though
they felt positive about it, they didn’t have the time to reply. Think about how long it takes for you to reply to some of your friends. Good things come to you if you show enough determination.
I hope these comments are helpful to people, and feel free to discuss/challenge anything I said!