Why is Positive Networking so Powerful?
What is it?
Networking is simply linking 2 or more things or people together, but it can be very powerful. Let’s talk about the power of positive networking.
Networking typically has an objective. The objective can be to accumulate lots of friends, to bond over common ideas, to enhance the chances of getting a better job or new business for your own company, or to work together toward a common goal. Networking, when done correctly, offers benefits for all parties. It shouldn’t be a 1-way street where one person is always giving to the other. A person in that scenario is better defined as a benefactor than a networker. We all network in one way or another to different degrees. We just might not categorize it as networking. ere are some examples that come to mind.
- Church parishioners network over shared ideas of faith and religious practice.
- Families network to plan holidays or reunions together.
- We network with anyone who provides services for our home, like housekeepers, building contractors, or landscapers. They provide benefit through the service we seek, and we provide benefit through the money they seek.
- Professional affiliations bring together networks of people that want to learn more about their niche together.
- Swim clubs bring together people in a similar geographic region that enjoy swimming during the hot weather.
The examples are many.
What do I Mean by “Positive” Networking?
Well of course, just like anything in life, there is the concept of good and evil. Networking with your LinkedIn connections to help a friend find a job is a good example of networking. However, there are also negative examples. The mob and drug cartels are also examples of networking, albeit nefarious examples that I don’t support or condone. They join like minded individuals toward a common goal. By “Positive Networking”, I mean undertaking activities with your connections that result in benefits for all parties and accomplish something ethically good (not bad) for yourselves, a third party, a beneficial organization, etc.
Networking in Unlikely Places
Most people network within their own sphere of accomplishment. If they are mid-career software engineers, they reach out to other mid-career software engineers. If they are professional chefs, they collaborate with other professional chefs to devise innovative new recipes. This is fine if the intent is to reminisce over similar experiences, or to grow within a limited scope, but simply doesn’t paint the whole picture. Although networking can be beneficial when all parties are of similar experience, it can spark a true transformation when open minded people from different backgrounds converge. Consider a custom car builder who created a car with a very exotic design that does not appeal to most consumers. Let’s pretend this car includes a valuable feature never before seen in any other car like a magnetic force field that prevents other cars from tailgating too closely. Although this car builder struggles to reach a large target audience due to his exotic car exterior, millions of people would benefit from this technology.
What is The Power of Positive Networking?
Consider our example of the custom car builder above. This is where the Power of Positive Networking comes into play. The car builder uses his social networking connections to meet a brand licencing expert who helps him forge a lucrative partnership with one of the major well known luxury automobile manufacturers. The Power of Positive Networking has made everyone a winner:
- The car builder is able to share his innovative technology with the world and be paid handsomely for it.
- The major well known luxury automobile manufacturer is able to charge more for their vehicles and position themselves as a leader in luxury and safety in their market sector.
- The licensing expert receives a percentage of the contract revenue and the satisfaction of knowing that she has helped potentially save the lives of millions of people due to accidents that will now never happen.
- Finally, a much larger consumer audience becomes aware of this new feature and benefits from its superior safety characteristics.
Notice this networking collaboration resulted not only in everyone benefiting, but also in an outcome that is ethically positive. Three parties put their skills and experience together to greatly improve the safety experience of driving for potentially millions of consumers. It’s OK to make money if you are accomplishing positive things for others in the process.
Why is Positive Networking so Powerful?
Positive Networking is a powerful tool for professionals aspiring to increase their contributions. It helps us tap into a vast geographic or virtual landscape that would otherwise be fully out of our reach. Trying to succeed all on our own is very hard, and a mistake in most cases. Some people take pride in accomplishing things alone, but it typically wastes a lot of time and money on activities that would have been much easier using the Power of Positive Networking. I’d rather be happier with an accomplishment sooner than be prideful and struggle. In today’s world of online social networks, it is easier to network than ever before. We can connect with people who are extraordinarily accomplished in their fields in a way that would be highly improbable before these technologies existed. For example, I’ve connected with renowned TED Talk speaker, Ernesto Sirolli on LinkedIn over similar interests. The technology we have available lowers the confidence hurdles we would have had in the past with forming these connections in person.