Is Your Net Working?
By Ola R. Jackson
With all the networking seminars, summits, workshops and conferences being held throughout the country, I still find myself asking if some people really understand what networking is all about.
I believe that networking is about formulating mutual relationships, not getting into a relationship simply to find out what somebody else can do for you. There have been times when I have found myself the target of one-sided relationships where folks simply want to hang on to see how much I can be utilized to their benefit.
I have learned to get rid of people who have no intention of reciprocating the relationship. Unfortunately, you cannot detect these hangers-on until you turn to them when you need something. If you want to test if your net is really working, compile a list of people who have benefited from their relationship with you, be it financially or by their access to your resources, guidance and assistance. How many of these people would respond favorably to your request for assistance? Then, do the same for yourself. Look at the people who have invited you into their networks. Have you been there in their time of need? Networking is a cooperative experience. It facilitates cross-learning and shared expanded horizons, but only when it is reciprocal.
Name 3 people you would like to network with: