Like all the other Skinny On books, I receivedby Jim Randel to review. The objective of The Skinny On series of books is to provide concentrated learning by extensively researching a topic, distilling the salient facts, and presenting them in a “progression of drawings, dialogue and text intended to convey information in a concise fashion. The book which can be read in less than two hours is presented in slides, two to a page, and 267 of them.
Networking is an important topic because success, happiness and personal fulfillment depend on the quality of your relationships. I consider The Skinny On Networking a good introduction to networking. I do no think that it’s possible to learn everything about networking, even the most important aspects from one book. Jim Randel highlighted some important aspects of networking that many would not think about. I have included some of these important points.
According to Jim Randel, The Skinny on Networking: Maximizing the Power of Numbers is “about creating and maintaining your network.” And his definition for networking is “developing and utilizing relationships with other people…it is any activity that helps you to develop relationships with others…and is about increasing depth and breadth as a person…Successful networking entails identifying and asking your WHO to help you meet your WHAT.” The author includes 10 activities to clarify and support what he means by networking.
- Staying in touch with people you have already met
- Meeting new people
- Doing research to find the person(s) who can assist you
- Using online resources to identify someone you know who knows someone you want to meet
- Increasing social capital
- Entertaining and helping others – creating a desire for reciprocity
- Building positive word of mouth
- Marketing your expertise
- Joining groups that foster natural connections
- Asking for introductions and referrals
To achieve astounding success in life requires the use of your human capital (knowledge, skills, expertise and experience) as well as your social capital (the resources you have access to through your personal and professional networks). You create social capital by establishing, building and nurturing relationships. It’s important to invest in the relationship by giving something of value to the person before you start to make withdrawals by making requests. The longer you have known someone and the more time you have spent investing in the relationship, the more social capital you have created with them. Building social capital is a lifelong activity, and it’s also important to build social capital before you need it. You can lose social capital by asking for too much too soon.
Steps to Successful Networking
- Tap into family, friends and acquaintances because they have connections that you are not aware of
- Always be specific about what you want so that the person knows exactly what is required of them, and always give them an out just in case they may be uncomfortable filling your request
- When making a request, make it clear that you are willing to reciprocate when they require your assistance
- Use all tools available to you, both offline and online (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook)
- Successful and savvy networking is very hard so make it an ongoing process
- If you are shy or an introvert, use a connector to help you connect to people you’d like to meet
- Create diverse networks of people, some who are very different from you – step outside your comfort zone
- When you meet someone, put the spotlight on them, most people like to talk about themselves so give them the opportunity, and listen to what they are saying
- Within 24 hours of meeting someone who you find interesting, make notes about them: how you met her, what she does, what you learned about her during the conversation
- Keep in contact with your networks
Most of us, including myself know about popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but Randel includes four others that I have never heard of. I recommend that you read The Skinny on Networking: Maximizing the Power of Numbers by Jim Randel, but keep in mind that it’s a very good introduction so you will not learn everything about networking. Despite the size of the book, you will pick up a few tips like I did. As usual, Jim Randel includes the books he referenced, as well as some quotes from them. The inclusion of books referenced throughout the Skinny On series of books makes it easy to decide which other books to read on the subject matter.
Let’s keep the conversation flowing, please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Note: The copy of The Skinny on Networking that I received is a pre-publication copy.
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