At best, you’re collecting a lot of business cards and making superficial chit-chat. At worst, you’re a glad-handing douchebag.
Or so most people think.
Done right, networking is the most potent way to build valuable business connections and expand your social circle.
There’s many facets to being a great networker:
- Having a positive mindset about meeting and connecting with new people.
- Selling your ideas in a captivating, value-focused way.
- Speaking so powerful people want to listen.
You can (and should) spend your life becoming a great networker and connector. There’s much to learn and the education will never stop. But, I’ll do ya’ a solid and give you a big leg up on your competition.
This is the game-changing mindset shift that has had me connect with VP’s of major software companies, TV personalities, and top-notch salespeople. And, I’m just some dude with a day job and a blog.
It comes down to one simple word: GENEROSITY.
Be Generous With Yourself And Others Will Be Generous With You.
You see, networking is not just about your endgame and the results that you see. It’s what you give to others.
Here’s how generosity shows up in exquisitely executed networking:
Be generous with your time & attention when you meet and talk with them. “You have my full attention – not my smart phone, my thoughts, or someone else. When I’m with you, I’m with you” is your new mantra.
Be generous with your ideas and perspectives when they can help others solve a problem. Forget the antiquated idea of intellectual property and owning an idea. That’s small-minded. Unless you’re convinced it’s gonna be a million dollar idea, share that shit freely.
Be generous with who you know when someone in your network can help and be helped by being connected with your new friend. You’re the quintessential connector. People meet, ideas are created, and money is made because of you. This is platinum-level networking.
Now, I want to show you how this philosophy can be played out pitch perfectly in real-life.
The Profile Of A Generous Networker.
I want to introduce you to Aaron Levy, CEO of Raise The Bar Consulting and one of America’s top experts on retaining millennial talent.
He’s also the one of the most shining examples of a generous networker I’ve ever met.
I had the pleasure of meeting Aaron a few months ago at a workshop on talent development in Chicago.
He had a genuine presence and he hung on every word I said. He engaged with every idea I put forth. He was curious about the journey I took to starting this blog and coaching practice.
This is something I teach and practice in everyday life. But, when I encountered someone else who practiced it, I was floored. I realized how truly great it feels to be in the presence of someone who gives a damn about me and my success.
It reminded me of the quote about William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli, two prominent British politician during the Victorian era:
When I left the dining room after sitting next to Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But when I sat next to Disraeli, I left feeling that I was the cleverest [person in the room].” (emphasis mine)
As if his unbeatable presence and curiosity weren’t enough, he tossed this gem out there during our first meeting:
How can I help you with what you’re working on and going after in your life?”
He unconditionally gave of his time, attention, and wisdom. He knows he has a gift, something to offer the World and he shares it unapologetically.
And, you know what? I took him up on his offer and within an hour, he helped me transform one of my biggest personal demons: how my addictive, Type A personality was hindering actual happiness and achievement.
If being a charismatic leader and memorable networker are important to you, follow the lessons of Aaron Levy. This stuff is gold, guys.
And, for those who doubt it, the odds are stacked in your favor: those who give are almost always given back to. Your generosity and abundance often comes back to you in spades.
To quote the American soulman Ray Charles:
Them that’s got are them that gets.”
In other words, those who are most successful are also often the most generous. Keep that positive feedback going by giving of yourself to others.
Peace & Charisma,
Dalton K. Finney