A good friend of mine, Shishir Goel, sent me a book to read Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi and that prompted me to write this issue of Good Vibes. This is one of the rare ‘self-help’ books that I read in almost 4-5 days. It is about something I firmly believe in – Networking. The first time I understood the power of networking was when I briefly moved back to my hometown, Purulia, after completing my college education. I used to play Tennis at the Purulia Club with a friend every morning. One day, the new District Magistrate joined in to play with us and then that became a routine for him. Our daily game was followed by ‘adda’ (as they call in Bengal) over tea and samosa. And we started getting invites to his home and social functions. Being a very small town, it became a news that we are friends with the District Magistrate. And that was good enough for any help we needed in private or government circles. The toughest task those days was to renew my Grand dad’s arms license. Post this God-sent connect, he never had to go to the concerned office. The official used to come home to check and renew, though we never asked for any favour any time.
Networking, once a dirty word, become the lingua franca of our times, in all aspects of life. Today’s most valuable currency is social capital, defined as the information, expertise, trust and total value that exist in relationships you have and social networks you develop.
Success in life = The people you meet + What you create together .
What is Networking
Networking is more than just meeting people. It is a tool (one of many) to be utilized during every stage of a professional career. It’s a skill, just like so many others, to be studied, practiced, and improved upon. It’s bigger than a job search, a career transition, or a conference social skill. Networking usually involves meeting new people, who share a profession, industry, or interests. Networking involves exchanging ideas and information between these individuals.
Networking can increase your social well-being and help you develop lifelong friends. Networking leads to the exchange of new ideas that can fuel professional (and personal) growth and inspire you to try new things. Networking helps you meet people at all professional levels. Networking can make you more confident.
Toolkit to Network
- Successful networking is based on generosity and loyalty. A good networker will never ask, “How can others help me?” Instead he will ask, “How can I help others?” The basic thinking behind this is clear and simple: the more ready you are to help others, the more ready they will be to help you. Generosity builds trust and mutual understanding. It cements and deepens our relationships with others, and in time we will reap double or even triple of what we have sown. We shouldn’t see each relationship as a short-term investment and expect to have every favor returned instantly.
- A good networker builds network before he/she really has need of it. One of the myths surrounding networking is that you should start looking to others only when you need their help. This is a big, though very common, mistake. It is like trying to buy safety vests after your ship has already started sinking. Good networking follows exactly the opposite principle. You should approach people before you need their help. Doing so allows you first to build trust and mutual understanding: two qualities which are crucial for a functional network. Nobody likes a networking nuisance – in other words, someone who is insincere, unscrupulous or gladly exploits others for their own advantage. Bill Clinton lived by this rule long before he was president. As a 22-year-old student, he had already started his habit of sitting down every evening to write down the names of all the people he had met that day on cue cards. He was always friendly and approachable to others and showed genuine interest when talking to them. He ensured that he built relationships based on trust and mutual understanding, thereby creating his future network at the same time.
- A good networker looks for relationship glues. Really getting to know other people is not about how much time you spend with them but rather about the way in which you spend time with them. Friendships and close acquaintances are formed by spending quality time with each other. You should therefore pay great attention to relationship glues; in other words, those factors that have the power to turn a contact into a real friend or trusted acquaintance. One example of a relationship glue could be a shared interest or activity. It can be basically anything that you both enjoy and could therefore bring you together, whether it be sport, good food, stamp collecting, movies, adventure sports or biking. The Enthubakers is a great example where almost now 100 people are in a group with common interest of baking and cooking.
- A good networker is sociable and patient. There are plenty of examples of successful people who show a steadfast patience with others and who seem determined to jump at any opportunity to network. A CEO might, for example, make sure to speak to at least 50 people every day. Instead of simply shutting himself away in his office and using the telephone for all communications, he will spend hours walking through the company offices, speaking to people on the highest and lowest rungs of the company ladder.
- A good networker always has something to say and embodies a unique message. a. Have something to say. You must be in the position to hold an intelligent discussion on a variety of topics, including politics, sport, travel or scientific subjects. b. Embody a unique message. If you want to really captivate someone, you must offer more than just pleasant, fleeting conversation; you need to stand for something – preferably something that sets you apart from others. This original and attractive message will make others want to be part of your network.
- A budding network is dependent on so-called super-connectors. Super-connectors are quite simply people who have thousands of contacts. What is remarkable about them is firstly the sheer number of contacts they have, and secondly that their contacts come from all different walks of life. If you want to boost your personal network, you should try and get to know someone from these professions – politics and lobbying, journalism and public relations, bar and restaurant management/owners. Most of these guys are super connectors.
- You can only hope to be successful if you have the right goals.Whatever you want to become in life, be it the president, a chief executive or a top athlete, you are never going to get there by chance. Instead, you must make your life goals very clear and concrete, and then decide how you are going to set about achieving them. Only then it is possible to develop strategies that will enable you to find success.
- If you want to achieve your goals, you need to have a Networking Action Plan. A mission does not become a reality overnight. Just as if you were building a house, you need the right tools and the right plan. Both the tools and the plan are combined in the Networking Action Plan (NAP). The NAP helps us to achieve our goals because it provides us with a clear to-do list of tasks we can incorporate into our daily routine, and it also motivates us to be active in working toward our goals. The first step of the NAP is the development of personal long, middle and short-term goals. Think about what goals you want to achieve within three years, and then work backward methodically in three-month and one-year stages, filling in an interim goal for each stage until eventually you end up with a clear and structured three-year-plan.
- If you want to be successful, you have to be your own brand. We are surrounded by brands. But it’s not only companies and products that can create brands – completely normal people can do so too! So how do you do it? How do you make yourself into a brand? The first step is to develop a personal branding message. To do this, you should ask yourself the following questions: What sets me aside as being different or special? What are my strengths and weaknesses? Which of my achievements am I most proud of? What is it that I do to create a feeling of worth? What do I want people to think of when they hear my name or see it written down? What would I like to be famous for? Having answered these questions, you should be in the position to create a personal branding message using just two sentences. Next you have to think about the brand packaging. This means thinking hard about your clothes, conversation style, hairstyle, business cards, letterheads and your office. Everything that plays a part in creating an outward impression, should be tailored to suit the image you want the world to see. The next step is making your brand known. The best way to do this is by becoming your own PR company: do things that put you in a good light, and concentrate on getting positive attention. Naturally, being your own PR company also includes doing your utmost to avoid negative attention.
- If you want to be successful, you need to have the right mentors around you. If you don’t have a good coach behind you, you will be unlikely to perform to your best.
Surrounding yourself with the pioneers and other successful people can be a big advantage to you when building a personal network. Many studies have shown that the people around you significantly affect how well you achieve. Both success and failure can be attributed to the nature of your peer group. If, for example, you are surrounded by people who have many good contacts, you will find that your own list of contacts begins to grow. And if you are surrounded by successful people, you yourself are far more likely to succeed.
Do you do research about any person before you meet him/her for the first time? Whom you meet, how you meet and what they think of you after the meeting should not be left to chance. Before I meet anyone of importance to me, I research who they are, their family, hobbies, achievements and failures, challenges and goals, has a Pet or not etc. Also about the company where he/she is working. What’s happening there? Any new product or their last quarterly result. The person I am meeting will find it very appreciative when you talk knowledgeably. Doing this is very easy these days. Some tools on how to do it:
Google. Running a searcg about someone on Google is the easiest way to know about anyone. A great approach when googling is to find out how active the person is online and how much information they share.
LinkedIn. Check who all they are connected to. What groups they are part of. Read their work history and summary. Summary will always reveal what they are professionally proud of. Also perhaps their goals and last activity
Social media. Twitter, Facebook are treasure trove of information about any one. Also explore the company account when he/she works.
Company/Personal website. Visit the website. Collect as much information as you can to know about their products/services. Also public listed companies will have their annual reports.
Setting out to know someone inevitably means understanding their problems or needs are. I have always experienced hobbies, pet or children are good relation building points. I have built some solid relationship with people having common interest like running, wildlife photography, and recently Baking.
If you prepare yourself well before a meeting, what could be a forgettable encounter can turn into blossoming friendship.
I finished the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahi Raz this week. In “Never Eat Alone,” Ferrazzi lays out the specific steps and inner mindset, he uses to reach out to connect with the thousands of colleagues, friends, and associates on his Rolodex, people he has helped and who have helped him.
The son of a small-town steelworker and a cleaning lady, Ferrazzi first used his remarkable ability to connect with others to pave the way to a scholarship at Yale, a Harvard MBA, and several top executive posts. Not yet out of his thirties, he developed a network of relationships that stretched from Washington’s corridors of power to Hollywood’s A-list, leading to him being named one of ‘Crain’s 40 Under 40’ and selected as a ‘Global Leader for Tomorrow’ by the Davos World Economic Forum.
The twitter thread about Gym workout by Rob- Nothing barred Fitness . With over 10 years of experimenting various philosophies about exercise planning, I can now strongly say that this is the best approach to fitness.
Came across this app 1 Second everyday 1SE is a video journal that makes it easy for people around the world to create meaningful movies that include every day of their lives. I have been using it to capture my Catching Sunlight time every morning and also to capture mood of my grand daughter. Imagine what a wonderful video I would have created over a longer period of time.
If you like this newsletter you have a zero cost way to support it by sharing with your friends and family and giving a shout out on your social media platform. On Twitter and Facebook or if you have received it as a forward please Subscribe.. Please leave your feedback and suggestions. You can mail me or tweet to @SandeepMall using #goodvibeswithSandeep.
We have also archived all the old issues and you can access them at www.sandeepmall.com. They contain some very good tool kits to take charge of your well being.
See you next week .
The information provided in this newsletter is not medical advice, nor it should be taken as a replacement for medical advice. I am not a medical Doctor so I don’t prescribe anything. Most of the tools suggested are based out of scientific research and my experiments with them. Your healthcare, your wellbeing is your responsibility. Anything we suggest here, please filter it through that responsibility.