Very few people argue with the value of networking, so why do people resist doing it? Aside from all the excuses–I don’t have time, I’m not a good networker, I don’t like to network–what’s the REAL reason people resist networking? I was reading a book the other day called “Manifesting for Non-Gurus,” which was written by my friend Robert MacPhee (pictured at right) whom I’m in the Transformational Leadership Council with, and the book explains a concept which I think gets right to the core of this question–Comfort Zones.
The real reason most people do not network is because it makes them uncomfortable.
We’ve all heard about the concept of Comfort Zones before. However, Robert explains it in a very unique way. He talks about how our resistance to doing something new often shows up as wanting to continue to do what is comfortable–even if it is not working well for us. In outlining his “Manifesting for Non-Gurus” approach, Robert explains that a comfort zone exists when our beliefs about who we are match the results we are getting. Think about it . . . if you consider yourself to be a great networker, do you show up at a networking meeting or event and present yourself differently than someone who thinks of himself as a poor networker? Who is more comfortable?
Are you a great networker?
Hopefully you can answer this question with a highly-confident YES. Unfortunately, most businesspeople would probably answer with a resounding NO. Their image of themselves is of not being a great networker so, to remain comfortable, they will avoid networking, despite the fact that they know networking is valuable. Crazy, right? Yet, we all know people who do this.
Fortunately, Robert explains that there is a very simple solution for anyone stuck in this kind of comfort zone. It starts with a simple decision that part of who you are is a great networker. To declare that you love meeting new people, sharing what you do, and helping them in any way you can. Start thinking about networking events as the valuable, exciting opportunities they are, instead of as dreaded situations that will pull you from your comfort zone. This is the way successful networkers see themselves and perceive networking functions and that is a huge part of why they are successful networkers.
So, what about that voice in your head saying, “What about the evidence that seems to support the fact that I am not such a great networker?” Well, according to Robert, that’s just your comfort zone crying out to reel you back in because the “I am a great networker” statement doesn’t match your current results. If a “great networker” is who you want to be, the next step is to continue to declare that you are a great networker and “act as if” until the results you want start to show up! This is the same thing you have done your whole life with any new skill you successfully learned.
Robert teaches a simple five step approach to making these kinds of changes more quickly and easily, getting out of our current comfort zones, trying new things and creating the lasting results we want. I highly recommend his work. Maybe we can get him to write “Networking for Non-Gurus” next . . . 😉
For more information about Robert and his work, please visit www.ManifestingMonth.com.