by Elaine Cercado
Why Should We NETWORK?
Networking is a critical success factor to “Influencing”. So the key question to ask is why should we exert influence? Today’s global, modern, complex world is characterized by
- organizations that are not only hierarchical but also matrix-ed and networked
- teams that are of multi-disciplinary, multi-racial and multi-cultural makeup
- times that are constantly changing, uncertain and sometimes illogical
- increasing demand for people to value-add, perform better and deliver excellent results
For one to succeed and to help others succeed, it is important to be technically competent at work, and equally important, if not more important, is to be comfortable with one’s self (as this is the foundation for personal branding, a critical element in the networking equation), and to be capable of interacting effectively as part of network via effective communication and relationship-building skills. Within this context, influencing has become a critical interpersonal skill to have in today’s modern world.
Simply put, influencing is the power of personal action to obtain targeted results using a cooperative, consistent and constructive approach. To powerfully influence, the equation to apply is I = B + C + D where:
Building a Personal Brand
+ Communicating Effectively
+ Developing Relationship
Powerful Influencing (I) and I=Effective Networking
How Should We Exert INFLUENCE In Our Network?
The first question to ask is: “On whom should the influence be exerted?” This process of defining one’s network is important to ensure a focused approach, and better results, both in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. The answer to the first question will then flow smoothly to the “How should we exert influence in our network?”
To answer the two questions above, let’s look into another equation:
A + C + E = ACE for Effective Networking, where
A is to analyze needs and network
C is to create networks and continuously grow
E is to engage in enthusiastic exchanges
To analyze one’s needs and network requires one to visualize the world one interacts with in terms of a person’s roles and responsibilities, and the corresponding resources (information, skills, status, standards, relationships, etc) one needs to obtain/deliver high level of results. Hence, the network would have different layers of “resources” depending on the impact to a person’s role.
To create and grow one’s network involves some “investment” and a structured approach, depending on the level of relationship. In today’s age of YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype and emailing, in addition to the traditional face-to-face networking, one would need to be smart in managing his/her time, and the quality of his/her networks and relationships.
To engage enthusiastically – and consistently – is a key to gaining the desired results from the network, be it short-term or long-term. There are unwritten rules and principles that apply to this last step in the equation: A+C+E for Effective Networking.