I took a chance and reached out to a CEO of a company with an invitation to get to know who they were as a person and what did they do to leave a legacy. What unfolded was 45 minutes of realizing what an amazing human I found and someone who was so aligned with my values and leadership style. I can’t wait to get them onto my podcast for you to meet them, but until then here are a few things we can learn:

Take a chance and just say “Hi and I want to learn more about you!”.

I reach out to 100-200 people per week just to connect with humanity. Unfortunately, there is so much transactional outreach, people are numb to entertaining a real conversation. I persevere for the few that are willing to say yes! For those who have met me, I think you will agree that I’m sincerely interested in learning about you and also imparting some kind of value during that time. No transaction, but real human connection. I take a chance on humanity and it has rewarded me in people I can help and even those who come onto the podcast.

Be present and seek the outcome of building a relationship.

I’m sorry, but networking groups who advocate for “closing the deal” and get 2-3 referrals or push “how can you help” makes the encounter transactional and puts too much pressure on people. What we are truly after is building relationships that if you’re patient can turn into trust and possible collaboration. I made this mistake early on in my networking days and since being more intentional about relationships, the transactions come in the form of a collaboration or commitment of support. Play the long game and don’t be fooled by the guru’s that promise 10x inbound calls or 10x your Linkedin or YouTube following.

Treat those as you want to be treated.

If you are lucky to arrange a networking call, lead by seeking to learn about the other person. This is no time to download your CV/Resume because you revert to the transaction vs. the outcome of building a relationship. When people see you are sincerely curious about them and asking follow up questions, you build trust. Naturally the person will reciprocate and ask about you; ensuring you lead with who you are as a person and then what do you do to be in service to others. When you treat others with respect, it will come back and further deepening the relationship that is part of humanity.

I leave you with one last thought that while Humanity has evolved to be fast paced, divisive at times and we lose sight of what really matters, we need to depend on each other to survive as a race. Connect with others, seek to build deep bonds and help the collective survive what can feel like impossible times. Networking if we do it right can be the key to survival in business, careers and even family and community.

Focus on what really matters. The Human race depends on it.

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Be well-Deb