12 Steps to Great Relationships: Step 11: Create Networks


For details on all of the previous steps, look at previous blogs. Step 1:  Know yourself. Step 2:  Develop a genuine love or acceptance of yourself. Step 3:  Expand your knowledge. Step 4:  Appreciate the differences.  Get perspectives on different values and cultures.  Step 5 is to be open, genuine, and positive. Step 6 is to develop a genuine love or at least acceptance of other people.  Step 7 is to pay attention to the first five seconds.  Step 8 is to pay attention to the second encounter.  Step 9 is to Make it all about them.  Step 10 is Food and Drink.

Step 11: Create networks
Networks are powerful things. You can have formal and informal networks. Most people have the wrong idea about networking. They think it is about introducing yourself, shoving your business card in the other guy’s hand and then he calls you and you get his business. WRONG! Bob Littell’s book, The Heart and Art of Netweaving, takes a different approach that works quite well. He follows these steps to establish relationships. At networking events, his approach is to find out as much about the other person and their business as possible and ask them if there is anything you can do to help their business.

Don’t sell people on yourself or your company. This is a real turnoff and a big mistake. Your encounters will avoid you like a plague. Again, make it all about them and let them know that you are there to help them and their business. Ask them what they are struggling with. Also, with your wide network of people you are amassing a great deal of expertise and knowledge. Try to find people who you can introduce to each other. Perhaps it’s a common personal or professional interest. Or perhaps one person has a solution that the other person needs. Either way, when you solve their problem for them, they are going to remember you and recommend you to others.

Have you tried any of the online social networks? They can be a powerful way to build a large network in a very short period of time. I’m signed up on several of them. There are ones for business like Linked In and there are others that are more geared toward the personal like Twitter and Facebook.

This first step is very simple. Visit these websites a. and create a profile. If it is strictly for business and not personal, be sure to pack your profile with your accomplishments and qualifications. If it is personal, you can also add some personal information. By the way, personal information can be very beneficial in the business profiles as well. You can tell a lot about a person by where they focus their time and energy. Be sure to add a good photo. Make your profile attractive and full of good information about you and your business.
Start creating connections with people.

It’s easy to find people now thanks to Google. I found an old boss of mine by Googling his name and the word “construction”, and I had not had any contact with him for over 20 years. I found him working for a contractor in Houston, Texas. It was not only great to catch up and see what he has been up to, but this was a great business contact for me. He wanted to read my book, which may lead to future work for my company.

I try to make connections all the time with email and phone calls. Most of the time, there is no response. Despite numerous attempts, they would not return my phone calls or emails. But when I sent out an invitation via Linked In, they accepted it quickly, usually within a few minutes. Somehow, these sites lend legitimacy to that outreach. Once you have a list of people whom you want to stay connected with, all you have to do is occasionally write a few lines about what you are doing. You may pose a question. You may post a photo or video or link to some interesting websites, videos, or articles. You can write as much or as little as you want except for Twitter, where you are limited to 140 characters.

Try to check your social networks as often as possible. Keep your profile updated. Send out blasts to people and look for new connections. Find some interesting things to post that will intrigue people and compel them to stay in touch with you. This is a big key. You must check these at least once per week. If people are reaching out to you and you don’t reach back, they will likely drop you.

If you want more information on the 12 steps to great relationships, click here: http://www.amazon.com/Relationship-Skills-Tough-Brent-Darnell/dp/0979925827/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326056211&sr=8-1

And for all Amazon Prime members, you can borrow the Kindle edition for FREE!

Look for step 12 soon!

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One Response to 12 Steps to Great Relationships: Step 11: Create Networks

  1. Russell says:

    Brent,
    I really enjoy your blog – well written, succinct and thougt – provoking.

    You have taught this “old dog” new tricks. I have (or I am attempting to) employ a number of your ideas/concepts.

    Keep up the great work!

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