Networking: How to Get Past the Myths and Benefit from the Reality

October 2004
by Susan RoAne

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So, you think “networking” is a new phenomenon? A growing trend? A buzzword? Well, it has existed since time immemorial. Proof: “No room at the inn? Can you recommend a barn…with a manger?” Sound familiar?

Referrals, recommendations, and shared information create the foundation for civilization. The community concept is built on communication. We just need to remember that civility is crucial in networking. How we behave is as crucial as knowing the unwritten rules that must be followed.

As one of my clients, raised on a farm, said, “Susan, we always networked. We just called it being neighborly.” Historically, barn-raisings are the ultimate networking event. You hammer a lot more than your point across.

And careers have always depended upon networking: the assistance of others.

But certain myths about networking must be confronted. Networking is not a work style; it is a lifestyle that can help us personally and professionally.

Myth: I don’t have a network.

Truth: Everybody has a network. We are born into one, went to school with several: elementary, high, college, religious. Lived in neighborhoods. Served in armed forces. Belonged to clubs, bands, teams, fraternities/sororities, service organizations.

Action: Know who you know. Even I don’t have a 100 percent grasp, but as events happen, I add to my list of people I know. Make your own list. Go th…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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