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The importance of connecting

I am just back from an amazing experience talking to over 20 smart Wellesley students about networking (and I don’t mean the kind that requires hardware!) I sometimes wonder if “networking” has not gotten a dirty reputation–if it has been cheapened by people who use it as a superficial way to get what is in their interest. Those same people who exchange business cards and who expect to get your business because you have met them once. I think that is the wrong way to think about networking. The really good networking is about connecting to other people and letting them know that we are genuinely interested in them. We are curious about who they are and what their story is. Real networking is as much about giving as it is about receiving. It is about connecting with people because we are curious about them. Then, sometimes, if we have created good meaningful connections, sometimes our “network” is the place where we get a payback–we find a job, a friend, an internship, a lead…but that is really only secondary!
Of course, like everything in life, when we are young (as the Wellesley students were!) we are not fully conscious of what we have to give. Nor do we know how to ask for help! Don’t be shy. And remember–networking is an art and a skill that requires practice and patience. Hire a coach and set your goal to conquer shyness and acquire people skills…it can be done!
Life is Amazing! Live Well.
Anna Grassini

One comment on “The importance of connecting

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Anna! I’ve heard this idea called netweaving which puts the emphasis on asking yourself “how can I help others achieve their goals?” I try to practice this with everyone I meet … well, those that I get a good feeling about, anyway. I think it’s something you have to train your brain to do and after awhile it just becomes who you are.

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