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Chapter 2. Unmuddle Your Mindset > The Ten Biggest Misconceptions About Network...

The Ten Biggest Misconceptions About Networking

  1. "Networking is manipulative," says Teresa, who owns a nanny agency. "I don't like the idea of twisting someone's arm to get that person to do something for me."

    It's true, you can't exploit others and expect to build long-term relationships. The way to avoid manipulation, though, is to give more than you receive. And, when you want something, be up-front and overt about it. Saying, "To build my business, I give free workshops for young parents to show them how to find and manage a nanny. Do you know anyone who'd like an invitation?" will prompt a better response than a "hidden agenda" question, such as, "So, do you know anyone with kids under five?"

  2. "I tried networking last Thursday," says Mel, a franchise owner. "It doesn't work."

    To cultivate a bountiful network takes months—maybe even years. Mel has a microwave mentality. You can't zap a relationship for thirty seconds. Networking is a long-term process.

  3. "I just do my job," says Brad, an engineer. "I don't need to network at work. What's the point?"

    Smart employees use networking to stay in touch with internal customers and suppliers. Their networks alert them to problems before those problems get out of hand and help them spot emerging needs. These employees break through bureaucratic bottlenecks. They use their personal contacts to get things moving and speed things up. They build constituencies and gain support for projects and proposals. They collaborate and cooperate. They create ad-hoc, cross-functional, problem-solving teams. When somebody says, "I need it yesterday," they come though. If Brad networked at work, he could serve his organization better and develop his reputation as a person who can get things done—fast.

There are no fast-food networks.



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