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TIN #060 - Unlocking Networking Opportunities: The Power of Giving
How To Get People To Help You When Networking
Hey there, fellow introverted networkers!
Welcome back to another edition of The Introverted Networker newsletter.
In this issue, we're exploring a fundamental aspect of networking that often goes overlooked: the power of giving.
We'll explore why giving matters, how it can transform your networking efforts, and practical ways to start incorporating it into your networking strategy.
This issue takes about 5 minutes to read.
But Before We Get Started…
Each week, I post a new podcast with tips you’ll find in the weekly newsletter and bonus stories, wisdom, and motivation. The Introverted Networker podcast is like the weekly newsletter but with additional narration and thoughts from me. You get a separate email from me with the link to the audio podcast.
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Finally, vote on next week’s newsletter topic:
The Networker's Dilemma
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to effortlessly expand their network and discover exciting opportunities, while others struggle to make meaningful connections?
If you have, you're not alone.
In our journey as introverted networkers, we face a dilemma: how do we get our network to work for us?
I frequently receive questions seeking guidance on turning networking into opportunities.
You might be looking for a new job, a career change, or a chance to grow your business.
The question is:
How do you get people to help you on this networking journey?
The Misconception About Networking
The first thing we need to address is a common misconception about networking.
Many of us, introverts and extroverts alike, tend to focus on tactics and quick fixes, hoping for that one magic message or tip that will change our networking game forever.
Let's be honest; networking doesn't work that way.
There are strategies and tactics you can employ, but they’re not silver bullets.
The truth is this:
Networking is a long-term game.
It requires patience, effort, and a focus on building lasting professional relationships.
The Psychology of Networking
To truly understand how to get your network to work for you, you need to understand the psychology of persuasion. Dr. Robert Cialdini's research highlights a critical component of persuasion: reciprocity.
Cialdini summarizes this principle by saying: "Simply put, people are obliged to give back to others in the form of a behavior, gift, or service that they have received first."
He then goes on to explain experiments in restaurants where some customers were given a small gift—a fortune cookie or a mint—with their bill.
Those who were given the gift gave higher tips than those who were not given the gift.
Cialdini explains, “The key to using the Principle of Reciprocity is to be the first to give and to ensure that what you give is personalized and unexpected."
People are more inclined to help you if you've helped them in some way.
It's a fundamental aspect of human interaction, and it can work wonders in your networking journey.
Start with Giving
So, how can introverted networkers like us leverage the power of reciprocity? It starts with simple yet impactful acts of generosity.
Let's explore some things you can give that can make a difference.
AIR stands for Advice, Introductions, and Recommendations.
Advice: A Gift of Wisdom
One of the most valuable things you can offer is advice. When you listen actively to someone's challenges and provide your insights, you're giving a precious gift.
Even if your advice doesn't lead to an immediate solution, it shows that you care and want to help.
Introductions: Bridge the Gaps
Introducing people to each other can be a game-changer.
If you know two individuals who could benefit from knowing each other, be the bridge that connects them.
Just ensure both parties are open to introductions.
Recommendations: Share Your Insights
Sharing recommendations for books, products, or services is another way to give.
If you've come across something valuable, pass it on.
Your recommendation might be exactly what someone needs.
The Challenge of Giving
Now, you might be thinking, "What can I give, especially when networking with people in more powerful positions?" The truth is, everyone has something to offer.
Here are some added examples to inspire you:
Ideas: Share Your Insights
Don't hoard your ideas; share them generously.
Your unique perspective could spark innovation or solve a problem for someone else.
Support: Be a Listening Ear
Sometimes, all someone needs is a listening ear.
Offer your support by being present and attentive during conversations.
It's a gift that can't be overstated.
Attention: A Valuable Commodity
Believe it or not, your attention is a gift in today's distracted world.
Be fully present in your interactions, and people will appreciate it.
The Magic of Giving
The beauty of giving is that it doesn't have to be a grand gesture.
Even small acts of kindness can make a significant impact.
Remember the study about restaurants leaving a small gift with the bill?
It's a simple gesture that increases tips because it makes customers feel appreciated.
Likewise, your acts of giving, no matter how small, can leave a lasting impression.
Creating a Network that Gives Back
By incorporating giving into your networking strategy, you'll find that people are more inclined to help you without you having to ask directly.
They'll appreciate your generosity and may proactively offer assistance.
When others ask, "How can I help you?" during your networking conversations, it takes away the pressure of pitching yourself.
They genuinely want to support you because they value the relationship you've built.
Putting It All Together
In summary, giving is the secret sauce to successful networking.
It's not about keeping score or expecting immediate returns.
It's about being genuine, sharing your resources, and being a good listener.
Whether you're an introvert or extrovert, these principles can transform your networking journey.