Networking, in order to be effective, must leverage your Voice. If you are a regular reader of mine then you know I’m not referring to an audible voice. I’m referencing your authentic self−how who you really are shows up in your interactions.
The networks we need today are the ones based in mutual respect. They are built on the common understanding that comes from a genuine meeting of the minds. They are fueled by generosity and kindness. They are reciprocal because of a desire to help the other, not out of obligation. They are connections that allow gifts to be exchanged, not favors tallied up. −Ric Gonzalez
What is Networking in this 21st Century? I like what Tim Sanders says in Love is the Killer App. He calls networking Biz Love, and says your network exists for you to:
- Share your knowledge; and what you continue to learn
- Share your web of relationships; and experience
- Share compassion; your ability to reach out
It seems, over the last three years, that my network has, for the most part, frozen; causing me to question the fruits of networking. The freeze has two sources. There is the outside force of an attention-demanding 21st Century culture, and there’s the inside failure to apply my voice consistently and confidently.
And then I must ask what it would take to thaw it. For the longest time the answer has been stuck in the personal confusion of the slow freeze. But now I know the only thing I can know, and do: I must allow my voice, in more full engagement, to thaw the connections.
So how do we apply the fullness of sharing in our networks? It is by sharing our own brand of love in our own network. And that brand of love is resonate in your voice. (see post, Shadow Strengths – Chapter Four (Voice))
The paradox one must face, and hold, with the skill of Networking is the external competing demands colliding with the internal focus needed to stay true.
As you stand firm and hold these two for a while, you may more easily see the warm application and need for your voice.
From this middle stand you hold what you do with how you do it, until your voice presence reminds you of why you do what you do.
And so in my own network and networking I must reengage with both my Voice and my original Why I do what I do.
I’ve got some fresh Networking to do!