For a time that makes it so easy to connect with each other it’s hard to really connect with each other genuinely. Going through and adding a whole crew of people on your Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, or going to networking events and “making it rain” business cards all night, may help start a conversation with someone you could possibly connect with in the future but it probably won’t provide the results you want. Without having conversations with people and being real, the connections you make become transactional. Meaning one of the two people involved only care about what they get out of the relationship. Transactional relationships aren’t authentic, genuine, or (in the long-term) beneficial.
Reid Hoffman (The Start-Up Of You) has this to say about the difference between building genuine relationships and traditional “networking”:
“Old-School ‘Networkers’ are transactional. They pursue relationships thinking only about what others can do for them. And they’ll only network with people when they need something, like a job or new clients. Relationship builders, on the other hand, try to help other people first. They don’t keep score. They are aware that good deeds get reciprocated, but they’re not calculated about it. And they think about relationships all the time, not just when they need something.”
I’ve been really fortunate to have met a lot of awesome people who gave great examples of what true authentic and genuine relationships should look like. Here are a couple things to help make sure that you’re a “relationship builder” and not a “Making-it-rain networker”:
1.) Help people. Don’t expect anything back. Don’t give conditions. If this is someone you trust and you want to have a relationship with, help them. They would do the same for you and they probably will in the future.
2.) Be authentic. And by that I mean just be REAL. There are people who try to be authentic. You know who I’m talking about and you know that you can feel the Fake-Realness before they even start talking. Authenticity is about truly caring, listening, and, as Hoffman says, asking What’s in it for us ? not What’s in it for me? Don’t try to be authentic; just be real.
If you start here with being real and helping people you’ll start to build genuine relationships that will add value to your network and challenge, or better yet, demand you to grow.
Nobody woke up this morning wishing they had your business card. But somebody woke up this morning and needed help. Someone woke up this morning and wished someone would be real with them. That’s were we have to meet people. In that space.
HUMP DAY!!! 🙂