I wrote in my blog post of last week that according to Donna 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 and an invitation to look at them in a different way.
“Don’t talk to strangers”
This is wise advice for a small child who doesn’t know how to make the distinction between right or wrong. However, as an adult, the situation is different. Talking to people you haven’t met before opens the doors to a wide variety of opportunities.
Some people think being strong means not asking for help, doing everything on their own and being other people’s saviour or hero. But “being strong” really means is knowing what you want and asking others to help you reach your goals.
“Be a big boy” or “Be a big girl”
Too many people confuse being childlike (and being play- and joyful) with being childish. The enthusiasm of a child is a great character trait at any age!
“You can’t trust others”
Most of us have one or more negative experiences with misplaced trust. This may have been very painful and it can also be the reason for never trusting anyone again. However, a life of not trusting is not much of a life. Learn to bring people who are worthy of your trust in your network and be trustworthy yourself.
“Don’t bother that person”
If you were ever told not to bother people, this thought may have been internalised as “You are a bother” or “What you want is not important” or “Others are more important”. And this internal belief could prohibit you unconsciously to contact others. But you are not a bother. People are only a bother when they are selfish or inappropriate with their words, timing, actions or behaviours. It’s OK to call people. People want to contribute. And especially when you can call on them in such a way that they feel acknowledged and included. They will be happy to help you.
“Don’t depend on others”
If you heard this as a child, this probably came from the mouth of someone who had a painful encounter with misplaced trust. However it is good advice if it means that you should take your life in your own hands instead of depending on parents, a partner or social security. You don’t have to fully rely on others. But I encourage you to have an interdependent attitude. Look for ways you can help others and how they can help you.
“Don’t let yourself be hurt”
This is also probably the reaction of someone who has been hurt by someone else and is reluctant to trust other people. But no matter what you do, you can’t protect yourself from ever getting hurt, disappointed or misunderstood again. But when you give with no strings attached, without conditions and without expecting anything in return, you cannot be “used”. You run the risk of feeling used when you give more than you can afford to give (financially, mentally or emotionally) and you expect or even need something in return. Give only what you can afford to give and feel good about giving.
So when these conditioned phrases come into your mind, take a step back and think of what really is going on.
To your success !
PS: this is an excerpt from my book “Let’s Connect!” which offers more detailed ways how to deal with these 7 types. You can download a free light version of the networking book Let’s Connect in English (or het netwerk boek Let’s Connect in Dutch)