I have been posting so many tips about LinkedIn lately that we might forget that the real power of networking is in the combination of online and offline networking.
Before you start (or continue) networking, your attitude towards networking determines the degree of your “success”. Your attitude is your foundation. However, only few people are aware of their attitude towards networking. What about you? Are you aware of how you feel about networking?
Throughout her book “People Power” networking expert Donna Fisher points out several mental barriers to networking. Most people don’t realise they have them. So carefully read the list. If you recognize any of the following thinking patterns, you might find that they limit your networking abilities:
• They probably don’t have time to…
• They wouldn’t want to…
• I don’t need anyone’s help
• I can do this by myself
• I know what needs to be done here
• I don’t want to bother people
• I can’t call her: she’s too busy
• I don’t know them well enough to call them
• People will think I’m weak/needy/stupid if I approach them about this
• I should be smart enough to figure this out by myself
• I have no right to expect others to help me out
• They probably don’t know anyone who could help me
• I don’t want them to realize I need help with this
• I don’t want them to know I don’t know how to handle this
Where do these inhibitions come from?
In life we are conditioned by the culture we live in and by the people who surround us. In our early years we can’t choose, our parents choose for us. And mostly without doing it intentionally, next to positive values and beliefs, they pass on certain values or beliefs that prohibit you, me and many other people from networking optimally.
Still according to Fisher there are 7 types of conditioning that can influence your networking effectiveness without you even realizing it. This is an overview of these 7 types:
• “Don’t talk to strangers”
• “Be strong”
• “Be a big boy” or “Be a big girl”
• “You can’t trust others”
• “Don’t bother that person”
• “Don’t depend on others”
• “Don’t let yourself be hurt”
In next week’s post I will give more insight in how this conditioning works against us and what to do about it.
Have a great networking week !