Posted by: G. Lane Cavalier | April 13, 2007

Networking: Non-Traditional Networking – Part 2

I love people, so there are parts of networking that I really like, hence the title of this blog. Since no one gave me a definitive rulebook on Networking, I decided I could create my own rules.  No promises they are new, just that I think they aren’t always thought of.

This is Part 2 of a ?? Part Series on Non-Traditional Networking Ideas:

**** Watch the Children, Follow the Children, Be the Children *******

This is a 3 pronged method for working on networking skills while also potentially growing your network:

 1) “Watch the Children” – I’m a believer that as Human we are “pack” animals, while that has some negatives, in our young it shows some of the positives.  Watch how children act when left to their own devices in groups.  Most children want to meet everyone, they will commonly just walk up and start talking to someone, they especially are drawn to people on the fringes and people who are quiet, they seek out people to communicate with and often make friends more quickly than adults. 

We could learn to do more talking to the people on the fringes of parties (introverts), these people have a wealth of knowledge but just may not be comfortable sharing it as openly as most Extrovert Networkers.  (Please note that I do not use the term “fringes” in a negative context, I often wish I would spend more times on “fringes” of discussions so I could observe and learn better, it’s a skill I’m trying to work on)

2) “Follow the Children” – I feel obligated to say this – “Don’t Stalk Children!”.  I’m talking about your children, or grandchildren, or nieces and nephews.  Go with them to school events, make time for soccer and sporting events, have friends over for play-dates, etc.  This allow you to improve your communication skills and relationship skills, if you don’t believe me, borrow a 9 or 7 year old for a couple of days.  

Even more than that, you get to meet parents and expand your network.  You already have one thing in common, your children, from there it’s not a leap to find out where there are commonalities in other walks of life.

3) “Be the Children” – Network like a child does, they are incredible machines when it comes to networking.  Everyone is a potential “friend”, they never show prejudice or bias until an outside force teaches them to, they clearly ask what they want from their friends (sometime not politically, but thats ok for them they are children), they take other children for what they are and discern quickly whether that friend is someone to play with (if they have value), and they always like to introduce you to “other” friends or tell you about about their “other” friends.


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