Perhaps the most important component of networking is generosity. It’s a willingness to share what you have with others with full knowledge that, by doing so, you are expanding the proverbial pie. And, it is not about a quid pro quo approach to life – you do for me and I’ll do for you. No, it’s about doing for others with an understanding that, at some point down the road, you’ll be rewarded with someone else’s kindness.
Consider these tips:
- Be generous with your time, information and resources. Share freely. What you put out to the universe will come back to you many times over.
- Ask, “How can I help?” Inquire as to what others are in need of, what challenges they are facing, what their wishes are. Once you know, you will have a pretty clear idea of how you can be of service.
- Take a gift. Every time you leave the house… every time… take a gift with you. Sure, beautifully wrapped packages work well to ingratiate yourself with others, but that is not what I’m talking about. Instead, take those intangible gifts with you that money can’t buy, but that are exceptionally valuable. Things like referrals, the names of great restaurants, good movies, a book review, an article, a website, etc. – that’s what really means something to others. You won’t necessarily know what gift will be useful before you are in the heat of the conversation, but you will know it when you need to.
- Be ready. Just as you are seeking to be generous toward others, they are likely seeking to be generous toward you. Let them. When someone asks you how they can help, be ready with your answer.