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Chapter 19. Network Inside > Avoid Erroneous Assumptions

Avoid Erroneous Assumptions

Know the rules. Here are eight erroneous assumptions that you'll want to avoid as you network at work.

  1. Assuming that people you work with are automatically part of your network. Not true. You must create and nurture the relationships.

  2. Assuming that everyone is an equally good networking contact. Not true. Seek out the experts and people who will give back. As you talk with people in your network, agree to respond quickly to their requests.

  3. Assuming that you can ask for information or help without giving first. Not true. Listen Generously to your contact. Does that person need something that you can supply? If you can't discover anything, ask, "How can I help you?"

  4. Assuming that you can access anyone. Not true. The best contacts are busy people. Use referrals, references, and introductions by a third party. And become known for the people you connect.

  5. Assuming that you can get by without doing your homework. Not true. Don't waste your contact's time. When you ask for something, do as much study or research as you can. That will provide you with some basic information. Jot down what you've found as you've tried to solve the problem or find the out-of-the-ordinary information. Note any blind alleys you discovered. Form your question(s) carefully. Make your quest interesting and intriguing for your contact. Link your question or need to something of interest to your contact. That way, you're not just asking for a handout. Is there a payoff for him? Try to find one. If you can't, be sure you volunteer to help him—and follow through.

  6. Assuming that your request is so important that your contact will drop everything to answer it yesterday. Not true. Make sure you give your contact enough time. If you need something, don't procrastinate. Ask early, before you are desperate.

  7. Assuming that when you receive the information, the interaction is over. Not true. Get back in touch to tell your contact the rest of the story and what use you made of what he gave you.

  8. Assuming that muttering "thanks" as you are talking with your contact is enough. Not true. Say thank you with panache. Send a handwritten note. Take your contact out to lunch. Send a funny card. Send flowers. Write a note to your contact's boss. Take every opportunity to give credit publicly.



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