Someone once said to me that “Networking” is what fishermen did when the weather was bad. They would repair their nets so that when the weather improved they could be out there catching fish with good tackle. Thinking about it when we go networking we are preparing for when we can do our work, same thing really.
We all network. We have all always networked, creating friends, family and society. This is how we have survived throughout evolution. Getting to know other people to our mutual advantage has kept us safe, warm, fed and clothed. If you think about it a family is a network of individuals working together but is also a business, a school or a hospital. We might even consider the same to be true of a village, town or a city. If we really got our act together we might even consider all of humanity or even all of creation as one huge network.
We know that all of nature functions on the basis of symbiotic mutuality. All the bugs in our gut help us survive by digesting our food. We are helping them survive and reproduce as well by providing the ideal environment. The bee collects the honey to feed its young and in so doing pollinates the plant as does the humming bird with the flower. Even predator and prey live in a mutually cooperative balance. If the prey are over predated then predators all die out. Equally if the predators all died out the prey would run riot and destroy the environment that supports them. The systems in which all of creation exists are a maintained in symbiotic balance of mutuality.
Networking, in the modern sense, is actually no different. However some people forget the mutuality bit. When we consciously seek to network to promote ourself, our business or an idea we are seeking a mutual symbiosis which other people or organisations that will help us achieve what it is that we are wanting to do. Most people enter the networking scenario with the attitude of ‘what can I get?’ In reality networks only ever truly work when the attitude is one of ‘what can I give?’ If everyone in a network gives, it doesn’t matter if it is a family business or a country, then everyone’s needs will be met. If everyone in the network takes then in the end no-one’s needs will be met.
If we all look after each other we will all be okay
The failure of all systems comes about when there is more taking than giving. This is true in nature, biology, physics, chemistry, electricity, psychology and so on. All systems comply with the same laws.
The natural form of a network is where we all give and we all receive. In face to face networks this can be easier to achieve. When networks operate online this can be a little more difficult. Anyone who has attempted to develop networks through FaceBook and other social media will appreciate this. What people tend to towards online is influencing or building a tribe of followers who will give them more of what they want. What they are giving is either product information or life style advice.
What is your network?
Who is in your group, your family, your team, your network? What do you give to your network? What do you get from your network? Do you need to give more? How could you change it to get more of what you need?
Be happy and keep networking