Often, it is considered the favourite word of businessmen, executives, marketers and even celebrities. Management students, aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals in the corporate all focus on the one word – networking.
People often consider networking to be ‘popular’ in social circles. Others feel it is about increasing connections on social media platforms. Conventional people are content with shaking hands at a party or conference and exchanging business cards.
Networking in its real sense, however, is not limited to the above but requires more activity and involvement. Inspirational speakers like Jeff Haden and leading MBA institutes profess that networking is about ‘giving’ rather than ‘expecting’.
Young entrepreneurs are usually of the impression that early networking earns brownie points. While it may be a good idea to be proactive, it may not necessarily translate into early success. People, the more important they are, the busier they are. It takes some effort to generate interest about oneself and one’s business in minds of people, which comes through involvement in the interaction and offering more than expecting.
If one can convince the person one is interacting with that there is something on offer, the real networking starts. Gradually, it leads to the building of a network where people are ready to provide service once they know the person’s mettle.
Quite briefly put, networking is about being selfless, not self-centered.