The reason why I chose this book is pretty interesting.
Recently, I was invited to a birthday dinner by a friend. This was not someone I knew very well, but since he was sweet enough to call me for it, I decided to go. The guests at the table were an eclectic mix, and it turned out that apart from one or two people, I didn’t know anyone (well enough) at the table! Now, this should have been the moment I took the opportunity to jump up and make friends with all these very nice people. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I just clammed up for some unknown reason and refused to make any sort of remotely interesting conversation! Reminded me of the old times when I used to be dragged to my dad’s office parties where I used to sit mute and pester my mom to take me home. Sigh.
Anyway, at the end of the dinner, I decided I have to do something about my lack of social skills and I picked up this book. I have managed to finish only about half of it thanks to some bad time management and lots of submissions, but here is a summary of things I have learnt so far..
1. Networking is really about caring for the next person and genuinely wanting to be their friend! To really develop relationships with people, you should give without expecting anything in return (for a while atleast). 🙂 If you want to build a huge network, start from your circle of influence first. Friends of friends, family friends, relatives.. there are so many people you already know but haven’t taken the initiative to bond with!
2. You don’t have to apologise when you repeatedly call someone to follow up with something. It reduces awkwardness on both sides. Dont accuse them of not replying to your email/call however. This was a big learning for me, as I always tend to say “sorry to bug you, but..”
3. Do your homework before meeting new people so that you have something to talk about! Especially if you tend to run out of standard questions to ask after 2 minutes of conversation.
4. Do not attend “networking events”. Why would you want to be categorised with all the jobless people in the world, where everyone who sees you will perceive you to be a shark waiting to pounce on a job? Real networking, or connecting is done on a one-to-one basis and definitely not in this kind of a setting..
That’s it for now! Have a great weekend folks 😀