All great teachers assert the importance of having intent and purpose in our lives. According to Benjamin Disraeli, “The secret of success is constancy of purpose.” Before you go into a networking scenario, make sure you know your purpose. If your underlying pupose is to exploit the group, you will communicate differently, both verbally and nonverbally, than if you intend to give to the group. You expect an eventual return, of course, but a good networker goes in with the immediate benefit of others uppermost in mind.
We are, at most times in our lives, a dynamic mixture of intentions. We seek to do good for others, and at the same time we seek personal benefits in many different forms. When we attend networking events, our attention instinctively and constantly jumps from situation to situation, searching for opportunities that favor us. To fix your intention firmly on benefitting others, it is useful to organize your thoughts before the event by formulating, in writing, a clear statement of your main purpose–a mission statement. Focusing on your number-one priority helps you push your many other impulses into the background.
With your attention and intentions focused, you will communicate clearly and unambiguously your willingness to help others solve problems and satisfy needs. You will be more self-confident and open to the messages of others, and they will sense it and be attracted to you. Your message will foster trust and rapport with your networking partners, enabling you to establish and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships.
For the networker, the most authentic message of all is this: “I would like to be your friend, and for you to be my friend. I think we will both benefit from it. And I want to start this friendship by doing something to help you.” If you communicate this orientation toward others in all possible ways, with integrity, you will easily form valuable, rewarding, long-lasting networking relationships.
What have you personally found to be an effective tactic in relaying your genuine networking intent/purpose? Please share your feedback in the comment forum below. Thanks!