The 4 types of Networkers

networkingNetworking takes effort, isn’t it.

In a busy schedule with work, family and other activities, time is a premium. Squeezing time out for networking is an additional effort in a constrained life.

I had to make a choice on many occasions. Settle down in the comfort of my home, or be there after work to meet a colleague over coffee. The temptation to lead my own quiet life has been tempting.

As I reflect on those missed occasions to meet people and interact, I have realized the importance of networking.

In his article “Why You Should Never Miss an Opportunity to Network,” Dave O’Farrell talks about the importance of taking a limitless approach to networking. Dave describes the story of a job seeker who landed a plum role, by overcoming his pride and networking with a factory worker at a ball game.

Networking is inevitable for a healthy personal and professional life. Networking for the sake of networking is bad. As Rich Stromback, the venture capitalist says “The key to networking is to stop networking.”

When done properly:

  1. Networking and active listening shows you care about the other person
  2. Networking opens up opportunities which are usually not surfaced
  3. Networking keeps you engaged, active and energetic
  4. Networking contributes to your learning
  5. Networking is a core purpose of our life – to strengthen the human interaction and social bond

There are 4 types of Networkers:

The Grief-Stricken Seeker – These are individuals in distress. Networking is a forced option. They realize that networking is a necessity to get them liberated from grief. The grief could be finding a job, getting a work done by someone, or using influence to impress a person. Networking for such grief-stricken seekers is a one time burst in activity. The energy subsides as soon as their task is accomplished.

The Inquisitive one – These are individuals who are inquisitive about others. They are plugged into the happenings. Their contribution is not necessarily valuable. The intent for active listening and helping from their part is minimal. You can find these individuals very active in gossip circles. They also may become the source of rumors.

The Taker – The motive of the taker goes against the ideals of networking. They have perfected the art of being “takers.” Networking is all about them and not about others. Selfish motives take priority. They are doers of selfish action. They compensate for not giving by their perfection in the art of taking.

The NurturerNurturing is true networking. The nurturer is a wise-person. He knows that networking is about others. They believe in pay-now and pay-forward. They give and continue giving. Benefits accrue to them as part of their daily life in their regular interactions. Opportunities always exist for the nurturer.  The nurturer knows to recognize them.

Every interaction – from the mail delivery person to the executive is networking for the nurturer.

True to the comment made by Rich Stromback, the nurturer does not network. Networking to the nurturer is part and parcel of his life.

Becoming a nurturer takes persistence. A mindset of detachment from the outcome.

Question – Which type of Networker are you?

Share your answer on Facebook or Twitter.

picture courtesy – Flickr and Microsoft

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