I hate the idea of “networking”. I’ll attend networking-focused events from time to time, but I’m doing it less often as time goes on. I find that most networking events are just a bad time for everyone involved.
On the other hand, growing a network is important for all of us. If you don’t have connections, that makes it difficult to grow most businesses. So what should be done?
First, I want to share a quick quote I found in Molly Beck’s book “ Reach Out “, where she says:
“Network” is a noun, not a verb. You are building your network by meeting other people, not meeting other people by networking.
That helped shape my overall thoughts that I put at the top of this post. I meet other people and grow my network, but I rarely do any “networking”.
In a recent post on LinkedIn, Sahil Bloom took it further. He said:
Networking is dead.
You don’t get anywhere by accumulating thousands of transactional connections.
You get somewhere by building genuine relationships-by creating value with no end in mind.
Build skills to create value and people will come.
Stop networking, start building.
We’ve built many of those transactional connections over the years, and Bloom is right — they’re of very little value. Instead, we’re working harder now to build deeper relationships with a solid group of people. This can include social media and email, but it’s increasing focused on in-person events. We might take a group out for dinner or Topgolf, and we’re finding that our in-person Meetups are becoming more valuable for everyone as time goes on.
I’ll still attend the occasional networking event, largely just to get to know a few more people in the community, but the real value comes from going deeper instead of wider.
Originally published at https://www.mickmel.com on November 29, 2023.