Are you making the Most of Your Network?


April 25, 2016

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Networking is a supportive system of sharing information and working together among individuals and groups having a common interest or purpose. The network is developed through education institutes, alumni network, companies you work, office extended networks, even children mummy groups, same interest groups etc.

MIND IT! Do not confuse your personal relationships like friends and family as networking, as there is no interest. You are with them for attachments, love, respect and bonding. People often confuse personal relationships with network relationships. There is a thin line and you should always maintain that otherwise unnecessarily expectations start building with your personal relationships (I won’t call it Network) and ultimately the equation between individuals is spoilt.

Returning to the topic, in all networking relationships, we should be very clear in our purpose and it would be good for both the individual to be clear of expectations from each other. Build your relationships on positive energy, which the individuals complement, for a common task or objective. You keep your motives on top while leveraging the strengths of the other individual. It should be mutually benefitial in making roadways toward your career aspirations – be it a colleague, boss or super boss, influential people (who may not directly impact you but influences decision makers) Have an aerial view of the situation and relationships to be able to plan your positive moves. The intent is your progression while not harming anyone. It’s a tedious task as people generally are not able to avoid negative politicking – either they give it or receive it or involve in sycophancy to achieve results.

In this whole process of leveraging your network, you need to make sure you are contributing brilliantly – be proactive, be creative and make your best efforts to get the work done. Praise others, never take their limelight or their credit, if you take the credit once, you would lose that network for forever.

Good networking can help you in following ways

  • Gain access to information – new products, new job opening, promotion opportunities, etc
  • Build visibility of your achievements – make sure you communicate your achievements
  • Connect with people relevant for your business
  • Attract opportunities where you can grow.
  • Seek out ways to make yourself, your team and your boss look good.

Networks runs vertically from your Super boss to your juniors or horizontally through your peers. You must manage it differently –

  • Never miss a conference, workshop or even small meeting where you get face time with your bosses
  • Be always prepared to share your ideas for future expansions of your team with your achievements
  • They never like to listen to issues, they would rather listen to solutions you have thought.
  • There is small difference between self-praise and talking about fact based achievements.
  • Support your peers in front of others, and discuss conflicts individually. Offering solutions and empathy always help. Ofcourse you will always stay away from the ones you hate.
  • Praise, praise and praise people, it has to be objective, fact based and proven to the group. Don’t over do it, you should know where to stop.

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