Teach Your Children Well – The Art of Networking.
No matter how big digital networking becomes, I try and tell my kids that the key to long term success in business (which I hope they go into) or the long term success of any other ventures they undertake will in large part be the result of how well they networked in person, and not just online, which is where they seem to hang out the most. How well they were/are able to make connections, keep connections, use those connections and allow those connections the same latitudes, but not just online, but in the flesh, will be critical to their long term success.
Now there are a tonne of books written on the topic, a tonne of articles and tonne of experts out there who can help with all the tricks as they were. They will go through the lists of what to do, and what no to do. There are the 5 tips, 10 tips, and 100 tips to better networking. The 5 minute and 20 minutes guides to better and effective networking. There are seminars and YouTube vids etc… In fact if you ever wanted a topic that had too much written about it, it’s probably this one.
So why write another article or share another thought? It’s because I think people have over written this topic and over complicated it. It’s not that difficult to network if you follow one simple step; just be you. Give the people you connect with, the real you
If there is one thing that social media has really forced upon society, is a much deeper level of honesty; as you just can’t hide anymore. If you try and BS the masses in today’s world, someone will find out, and many, many, many people will find you out pretty quickly after that. It is very difficult to maintain a lie in today’s world.
It gets overused, but authenticity is crucial in today’s world of social networking. You have to be you, and you have to stay true to that if you are going to be successful in today’s networking world.
Those same rules apply even more when we network in person, face to face. You have to give up the real you if you want to foster any sort of deep and meaningful long term connection with people. Authenticity is crucial here as well.
Where I see the issue or concern with the kids that come over to the house that are in their mid teens, like my kids, is a lack of being able to network, if they don’t have a phone, tablet, or laptop in hand. These kids are great at mobilizing each other quickly as they really get the mediums available today for social networking. What they seem to fail at is being able to sell the ideas once they meet up in person. For obvious reasons, they have seemed to lost the art of in person networking, and there does not seem to be a push to change that. We seem content letting them stutter through a conversation because they “really get” and use the online mediums. We seem to have succumbed to the fact that we can not “beat” the way hey communicate. I don’t think this was something we needed to win. Thee is nothing to beat, we need to teach the “other” ways of communicating.
Maybe it’s just me. It cold be a personal bias as I still do almost all of my business deals in person, or at worse, online, but using visual online mediums such as Skype, because I want to see who I am dealing with. So much can be gleaned from the nuances of eye movements, smiles, frowns, changes in voice, etc… You just can’t get that unless you can see and or hear the person. You can’t get that unless you truly connect on an “in person” meeting.
Now, where a book or two, or an article or two, may help you, is in how to approach people and how to start an interaction etc… There is a skill set to good communicating.
That I leave up to you. All I want to do is stress upon younger folks that you gotta get back to some of the old ways of communicating and networking, you gotta do it in person
I write this as I am going into two days of meetings with industry. Where a bunch of us will sit, talk, and learn from each other. It is something that would be very difficult to do if not in person.
So get out there and be yourself, and learn to talk again. Trust me, it’s not that bad.
Ciao for now @kootenayborn