Networking Information

You Can't Spell Networking Without Serendipity


"Fear not to entertain strangers for by so doing some have entertained angels unaware."

This quotation is from the book of Hebrews, which means it probably has nothing to do with networking.

Or does it?

Networking is the process of sharing knowledge, helping others, and developing mutually beneficial relationships. Serendipity is the lucky tendency to find interesting or valuable things by chance. Mix the two forces, and you've got a sure-fire formula to boost your business.

Now, I understand the Catch-22: if it's serendipity, how can you plan it? Well, you're right - you can't. But you can do a few things to be more aware of it and prepare yourself to leverage it.

What is Serendipity Networking?
First and foremost, serendipity networking is unexpected. You never know whom you're going to meet! So don't discount the power of each person to affect your business or even your life. For example, the birth of my career was a direct result of the "Start Conversations with Random People on the Bus Who Happen to Know the Editor of a Major Newspaper Theory." Works every time!

Secondly, being at the right place at the right time is good; but being at the wrong place at the wrong time can be better. I once attended a small group discussion under the impression that the speaker was a certain author, only to realize I had read the flyer incorrectly - the author wasn't coming at all. When I learned who the actual facilitator was, I was initially disappointed. I then realized how much she and I had in common, and now I'm happy to say we're great friends and colleagues who share information and ideas on a frequent basis!

Next, serendipity networking is powerful. I mean REALLY powerful. How many times have you met a valuable contact and said, "Wow! The planets must have been aligned tonight!" "The Gods have smiled down upon me!" or "What are the odds of meeting someone as perfect as her?"

World renowned speaker, author, and my friend Carol Weisman experienced the power of serendipity networking years ago. She was giving a speech at a conference that unfortunately conflicted with a concurrent session by Dr. Steven Covey. Obviously, attendance was low, but Carol didn't care. She did her absolute best and blew the audience away - all six of them. At the end of her speech she announced, "And now, I'm going to do something that Steven Covey would NEVER do - I'm going to take my entire audience out to lunch!"

Little did she know that a member of her audience worked for PBS. Five seasons of a hit program and a Telle Award later, Carol understood the power of serendipity networking.

Warning Signs That Networking is in the Air

  • Do you see the same person time and time again at similar meetings and events? Great! You are experiencing "Networking Dejavu," and it's not an accident. This is a person with whom you obviously share common interests. So go talk to him! There's a good chance you can help each other.

  • Have you ever walked away from a coffee shop, bar, store, gym, church, mailbox, park, train, street corner, or bus and said to yourself, "Thank God I had one of my business cards with me today!" What a great feeling! Remember, chance encounters like these may be more valuable than you think.

  • Did you recently have a business conversation that contained the words, "A friend of a friend," or, "I don't know how I ended up at your website, but?"? Perfect. Localize this connection; then generate mutually valuable information and CPI's (Common Points of Interest).

  • A person called, emailed, wrote, or contacted you because "something made her think of you." This should set off an alarm. Discover what associations were made so you can learn how to recreate that tipping point in the future.

    7 Serendipity Networking Tips

    1. Talk to everybody. We are conditioned not to talk to strangers, but some people enter our lives and change them forever.

    2. Be nice and help people. Reciprocity is an inherent human need. Go out of your way to extend kindness, friendliness, and assistance to everyone - they are likely to pay you back. Possibly by giving you millions of dollars.

    3. Keep a list of your "People Collection." (In an non-crawl-space-under-the-deck kind of way) Whether you use a journal, database software, or bar napkins, make sure you write down the names of every person you meet - not just business contacts. You never know when, 6 months down the road, an idea will pop into your head and you'll need to call someone.

    4. Get out there. Make a weekly/monthly networking plan. Serendipity networking has a lot to do with being at the right place at the right time. And although you can't create serendipity, you can certainly put yourself in a position to grab it when it crosses your path.

    5. Always have business cards. Always. Most of your networking won't occur between Monday and Friday from 9-5. So remove the following phrase from your vocabulary: "I don't have any of my business cards with me right now." No excuses. Unexpected conversations are the stuff serendipity networking is made of.

    6. Always have something free to give away. People like free stuff. They also like to show it to other people.

    7. Wear your nametag. A person's name is the single context of human memory most apt to be forgotten. So, at a meeting or event when you're given the chance to remind someone who you are - do it. They'll thank you by approaching you. And possibly by giving you millions of dollars.

    Luck is Not a Word

    For effective serendipity networking, remember the three L's: Listen, Localize, and Leverage.

  • Listen: the most important communication tools you own are your ears. Keep them open for iceberg statements - key phrases under which 90% of the remaining important information awaits.

  • Localize: If you've ever been stricken with food poisoning, the first thing you always do - after chugging the bottle of Pepto - is localize your sickness. Serendipity networking is the same way. Retrace your steps and discover where the rock created the ripple.

  • Leverage: After you've identified which person, event, situation, letter, gossip, or bathroom stall writing was responsible for the spark and development of a mutually valuable relationship - make a mental note. Hell, make a post-it note! Do anything that will remind you of the chain of valuable events so in the future you can put yourself in a position where it is likely to happen again.

    Serendipity networking takes time. As the definition says, it means a lucky tendency to find interesting or valuable things by chance. Now, you can't make it happen. But you CAN make yourself more aware of the warning signs and more accessible to that which fortuitously affects you. And even if you really DO think it's all about luck, remember: L.U.C.K is an acronym for Laboring Under Correct Knowledge.

    2005 All Rights Reserved.

    Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, "The World's Foremost Expert on Nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He helps people MAXIMIZE their approachability and become UNFORGETTABLE communicators - one conversation at a time. For more information contact Front Porch Productions at http://www.hellomynameisscott.com.


    MORE RESOURCES:
    This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


    Forbes

    The Networking Advice No One Tells You
    Forbes
    We've all heard the advice that networking is important for our careers. And regardless of your profession, your industry or demographic, the message is loud and clear. If you want to be successful, you need to spend time networking. It's great advice ...



    What makes networking automation so difficult?
    TechTarget
    In a post on IPSpace, Pepelnjak said the challenges facing automation -- such as a lack of good tools and APIs -- obscure the biggest reason networking automation is so tough to do. And that's because, as Pepelnjak termed it, "every network is a unique ...



    The growing ties between networking roles and automation
    TechTarget
    All of these suggestions are increasingly valid and can prove valuable in the evolving networking industry. In fact, skill sets revolving around network programmability, cloud computing and cybersecurity are central to in-demand IT positions and roles, ...



    Nurse.org (blog)

    10 Networking Tips for Nurses Who Hate Networking
    Nurse.org (blog)
    Networking is an essential aspect of your nursing career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 70% of jobs are found through professional networking. Whether the need to network is for mentorship or to land a dream job, it is crucial that ...



    Harvard Business Review

    Making Time for Networking as a Working Parent
    Harvard Business Review
    Networks matter for career success. They help you find people who can assist you with projects, refer you to new employers, and make connections to new and bigger opportunities. In a famous study by Ronald Burt, people who made efforts to improve their ...



    network management system
    TechTarget
    However, as wireless networking has become more prevalent, unified network management systems are now available that allow a network engineer to track both wired components and wireless network elements through a single management console.



    Philly.com

    Hey, Philly's business women: New networking groups spring up just for you
    Philly.com
    But do women's networking groups drive bigger sales and increase your business? HerCorner says the group's focus is to be an accelerator for women who want to “scale up” their businesses. HerCorner clients average $350,000 in annual revenues and ...



    ZDNet

    Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 710 platform in mobile AI, neural networking push
    ZDNet
    Qualcomm's engineers have been working on ways to utilize artificial intelligence and neural networking in personalized applications. This has moved the company towards the direction of contextually-aware image and video capture -- such as with the ...
    The Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 Mobile Platform elevates mobile experiencesYouTube

    all 112 news articles »


    Travel Market Report

    Air Force Nurse Turned Travel Agent Takes Networking to the Million-Dollar Level
    Travel Market Report
    “There is so much more to networking than just showing up at a meeting,” Russell says. “You have to invest time and energy in meeting the people in the group outside of the group. If someone invites me to some event I always go, and then I say thanks ...



    CRN

    Pure Storage Expands AI Play With AIRI Mini, New Cisco Networking Option
    CRN
    Pure Storage this week moved to bring artificial intelligence to businesses of nearly every size with the introduction of the AIRI Mini, an entry-level version of a joint offering featuring Nvidia's DGX-1 deep-learning system and Pure's all-flash storage.
    Benzinga Pro's 5 Stocks To Watch TodayBenzinga
    32 Stocks Moving In Tuesday's Mid-Day SessionBenzinga
    After-Hours Stock Movers 05/21: (NBRV) (MU) (ADBE) Higher; (LBY) (ARDX) (PSTG) Lower (more...)StreetInsider.com
    Seeking Alpha
    all 118 news articles »

    Google News

  • home | site map
    © 2006