This week I should finish reading Keith Ferrazzi’s professional networking book Never Eat Alone. My problem is I tend to have A.D.D. when it comes to reading. So instead of sticking to one book I’ll read 2 or 3 at the same time. Needless to say they end up taking longer to read all together then they really should so I end up forgetting some of the content in the beginning of the book by the time I finished it. But I digress. This is a great book for anybody who wants to continue to grow there careers and do it quickly….and who doesn’t want to do that, right?! Based around his experiences in public and private sector work, Ferrazzi helps you understand the networking is an integral part of your career, whether you’re an entrepreneur, accountant, plumber or garbage man. There were a couple of points that he made that I wanted to share.
The Johari Window
The Johari Window model was developed by two American psycholigists, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham, and is meant to help people understand how much or little they reveal about themselves. Those that are introverted don’t reveal a lot while those who are extroverted are much more open. Being able to adjust your window is an important part of communicating successfully. As you have your comfort level that you like your window, so do others, and being able to adjust your window to the person you are communicate with will help the other person feel more comfortable with you. The safer the climate is to others, the more willing they will be to relax and open there window.
This may seem silly….why should I worry about a hypothetical window? Well, communication is the key to relationships. Not only personal relationships, but business relationships as well. Being introverted in business life can lead to a lot of missed opportunities.
Another key point that I think Ferrazzi makes is in pinging.
“If 80% of success is, as Woody Allen would say, just showing up, then 80% of building and maintaining relationships is just staying in touch.”
Pinging is keeping communication with those that you encounter throughout your life. You want to make sure that you continue to keep in contact with your network. Maybe not every day, or every week or even every month. Some people may be weekly contacts, some daily….you need to decide where everyone fits in and continue to communicate with them. Without constant feeding, your network can fall apart, and with no network you have a smaller chance of being successful.
So start paying attention to your network. Start with your friends and family…yes, they are a network. You use this network differently than you use your professional network, but they both require attention. Communicate with them regularly and don’t be afraid to open your window to somebody you may be able to help. Just remember, networking is not about you and your needs. Networking is about giving and helping others. Make that your priority and your network will grow exponentially.