Posted by: G. Lane Cavalier | July 31, 2007

Networking: Non-Traditional Networking – Part 8

This is Part 8 of a ?? Part Series on Non-Traditional Networking Ideas:

***** Random Acts of Kindness ********

I almost feel the need to apologize for putting this one here, but I won’t.

First off let me say that the benefits of Random Acts of Kindness go way beyond Networking, but it also provides some interesting networking opportunities and stories.

Below I give two examples. The first is from my own experience and the second is a story I was told by a friend who is a lawyer.

My Story:

When I was in college, I was driving home from college one Friday night. I saw a woman on the side of the road fighting a flat tire. I turned around and went back to help her. During the process of changing her tire, I ruined a pair of jeans. She insisted that I give her my phone number so she could do something about it.

Several days later I got a call from her husband, he was an investigator with the IRS and we talked for a while. He gave me his number and I left it at that. Several months later, I was having a problem with a lost form of some type with the IRS and was getting nasty letter after nasty letter. Eventually, I pulled out his contact info and called. The problem went away in a few days.

The Lawyer’s Story:

When my friend was a young student in Law School, he often did his homework and studies in the college cafeteria. Since he often would be there late at night, he would observe a older lady who came in to mop the floors have to put all the chairs up on tops of the tables. One night he decided to put the chairs up with her. This happened for several years. My friend and the lady became casual acquaintances, they chatted while he helped her move the chairs up every evening he was there.

As my friend was nearing graduation, he mentioned that he would miss their chats, but he needed to find a job. The next day the lady showed up with a business card from a partner at a law firm in the city. She gave him the card and said “My son wants to talk to you.”

My friend told me when he talked to the partner, the partner told him, “My mom says you work hard, your dedicated, and your nice to old ladies; she says she knows my firm likes the first two and could use a little of the third!”

Needless to say he got the job!

So again, I advocate that you practice Random Acts of Kindness without thinking about being paid back, but note that sometimes the Act will be rewarding in more ways than you think.

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