I just had a great Skype conversation with a friend of mine that I hadn’t “spoken” to in over eight years. We are friends on Facebook, but until I reached out to her, we haven’t had a proper conversation in that long a time. I notice that the more I can say “x years ago” the more I feel old. As I spoke to her, it reminded me of when we last saw each other in University, the class we met in, the people we used to hang with, how young we were. What was great was that it was like we hadn’t missed eight years, we picked up right where we left off.
It’s such a key thing about connection. When you make great connections, it’s because they are genuine and you have found something that you cannot create in other relationships. It is unique to every genuine connection you have.
It reminds me of a conversation I had with another friend I caught up with the other day. We chatted about networking and how people don’t know how to do it effectively. The main reason is because many people look it as handing out your business card, or getting something for nothing. Genuine relationships are based on real connections, connections that have a mutual benefit and actual interest (usually comes from the mutual benefit).
Think about it. Why do you love your friends? My guess is because you have things in common and they add some awesomeness to your life. So what is it about “networking” that says you can skip all of that and go right to what you want from them? Would you want someone to treat you that way? Probably not. That email gets forgotten in Outlook, doesn’t it?
Remember, most people are tuned into WIIFM – What’s in it for me? What makes it worth anyone’s while to know you? What can you offer that helps to bridge connections? There doesn’t have to be pressure involved. Just be your naturally awesome self – those that want to know you will come around. I promise!
Where can you just be yourself and not worry about what you need from the other person? Where can you employ the golden rule and treat others how you would like to be treated? It’s just relationship-building, which we have all done at some point in our life. That’s how you get remembered, and that’s how you get recommended!