Christmas Spirit = Networking 101 | I AM TECHNOLOGY blog by Trey Warme, San Diego
Merry Christmas! Christmas is a beautiful reminder of our true purpose in life: which is to give wholeheartedly, to serve causes bigger than ourselves, to add value to our relationships, and in doing so we receive fulfillment, form lasting friendships and build valuable network connections that allow us to tap into the richest resource on the planet – other people.
There is a noticeable thread running through countless repackagings of Christmas theory in a multitude of teachings found in all cultures throughout time.
Jesus taught, “Give to everyone who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” This idea is also a core tenet common in many other world religions, or the ethic of reciprocity, which we westerners may recognize as ‘the golden rule.’
The Ten Grave Precepts, the basic theory of some zen Buddhism traditions, which is a practice of the obtainment of happiness through mindful attention, observes the duality of happiness and sorrow with, “Give wholeheartedly. Do not be withholding.”
Dale Carnegie acclaimed human relations guru, in his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, which has been recognized as a human relations bible of sorts, teaches that to be successful in relationships, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” First, give your wholehearted attention in your listening. The importance of this teaching was again echoed in ‘Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood’ of Steven Covey’s acclaimed, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Listening perhaps may be our most valuable skill in personal growth, human relations and networking.
In his book, “CLICK, Ten Truths for Building Extraordinary Relationships”, George C. Fraser explains, “the most common mistake people make in networking is to focus on their own needs, without finding a way to serve, to give or to add value to the person they’ve identified to meet.”
Fraser writes, “networking is the ongoing lifelong activity of identifying those with whom you wish to build new relationships; connecting is the developmental process of finding, cultivating, nurturing and building relationships; clicking is when at least two people add special value to each other and create synergy.” Synergy is achieved through two people giving to add value to the other person.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill
Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap, in their Harvard Business Review article, “How to Build Your Network”, share well-developed networks deliver three unique advantages: private information, access to diverse skill sets, and access to power networks. In business networking it definitely pays to give through nurturing your comprehensive network.
The meaning of Christmas is alive and a large part of our daily personal and professional lives all year long. The difference on Christmas is that we actually slow down and give ourselves time to notice the value of giving in nurturing our relationships and to reflect on how much our lives are enriched in value from these relationships.
Thank you for reading! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and your most fruitful year of networking yet in 2015! Please feel free to reach out to me if I can assist you in any way professionally or personally.
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