Useful Professional Networking???

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Useful Professional Networking???
Chloe Xu, Australia, Premium Member
Despite the fact that social networking is all around, many business people find networking activities distasteful and avoid them even if it can contribute to job and business opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge, and improved capacity of innovation and advancement. Here are some tips to help you overcome an aversion to professional networking:
  • FOCUS ON LEARNING. Focus on the positive growth, advancement, and accomplishments that networking can bring and the activities will begin to seem much more worthwhile.
  • IDENTIFY COMMON INTERESTS. Social psychological studies have proved that when people work together on tasks that require one another’s contribution, they are able to establish the most long-term and collaborative connections. So it is useful to think about how your interests and goals align with those who you meet in networking and how that can help you build meaningful working relations. Common interest identified through serious research often works well on leading to qualified relationships as it will feel more authentic and meaningful.
  • THINK BROADLY ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN GIVE. It is true that when people believe they have a lot to offer, such as advice, mentorship, access, and resources, networking feels easier for them. But even those with lower rank and lower power can have many more resources than they can think of, such as heartfelt gratitude, understanding of other’s values and identities, or unique insights or knowledge.
  • FIND A HIGH POSITION. The primary purpose you have in mind determines your effectiveness at networking. As any work activity becomes more attractive when it’s linked to a high goal, finding the underlying meaning and joining the activity with that in mind will be easier for you.
Source: Casciaro, T., Gino, F. and Kouchaki, M. (2016). Learn to Love Networking. Harvard Business Review, 94 (May), pp.104 - 107.

Professional Networking and Learning at 12manage
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Thanks for sharing this article "Learn to love networking", Chloe. This is exactly what 12manage is all about! Because we offer our members:
  1. LEARNING and SHARING ideas/know-how/experiences around management methods and models, and
Our way of professional networking is quite different from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and is initially a bit hard to grasp for people who know only those networks. In a nutshell:
  • When you share know-how on 12manage, it is automatically categorized per knowledge center where it remains available indefinitely (not just on the day it was shared);
  • By sharing experiences and knowledge in some field of expertise on 12manage, you create interest from people looking for such skills.
In other words, 12manage is a more valuable, long-term way of networking, focused on learning.

Social Networks Threaten our Concentration and Focus for Complex Tasks
Carlos Cardenas, HR Consultant, Peru, Member
There are tasks that require our attention. The more complicated a task is, the more concentration we need. This happens in all areas of our lives, but especially in the professional field. For example, when we are in a meeting, we should be as attentive as possible to what a colleague tells us. When I say attentive I mean not only to understand what your exposure is, but also the way it is said, with the intensity and other nuances with which a good communication and listening is painted.
But what about social networks? In my opinion they are a danger to our attention, they distract us, they break the dance that occurs when we communicate, we lose concentration. In that sense, we must know how to manage the use of social networks, we can set timetables and filter different types of networks, putting filters and establishing channels for really urgent things. All the others can wait. If I fail to focus, I lose concentration, my performance goes down. (Translated by 12manage)
Hay labores que requieren de nuestra atención, mientras mas complicada la tarea mas concentración necesitamos. Esto pasa en todos los ámbitos de nuestra vida, pero sobre todo en el ámbito profesional. Por ejemplo, cuando estamos en una reunión debemos estar lo mas atentos possible a lo que nos expone un colega; cuando digo atento me refiero no solo a entender de que se trata tu exposición, sino a la forma en la que lo dice, con la intensión y demás matices con los que se pinta una buena comunicación y escucha. Pero que pasa con las redes sociales; a mi parecer son un peligro para nuestra atención, nos distraen, rompen la danza que se da cuando nos comunicamos, perdemos concentración. En ese sentido, debemos saber administrar el uso de las redes sociales, podemos poner horarios de atención y filtrar distintos tipos de redes, poniendo filtros y estableciendo canales para cosas realmente urgentes; todas las demás pueden esperar. Si no logro enfocarme pierdo concentración, mi desempeńo baja.

Concentration is Demanding
Tarja Laila Marita Raman, Partner, Finland, Member
@Carlos Cardenas: I agree "The more complicated a task is, the more concentration we need."
However, concentration is nowadays a little bit problematic ability, because there are so much things around us asking for attention in the work and in general.
If you learn to close most part of your environmental, perhaps you are then missing also something important. On the other hand, if you are aware of everything, you'll soon burn out.
So we need CONCENTRATION and we must CHOOSE WHAT IS IMPORTANT and valuable for us/me and we must RELAX.
Creativity absolutely needs concentration (and inspiration from the environment) and time to rest.

Create a Professional Interest Map
Gregory Waddell, Teacher, United States, Member
Something I did recently that helped was to create a map of my professional interests. I used SimpleMind, a mind-mapping software, of which there are many. You can even do it using paper and pencil. The point is to create a map of all your areas of interests. Once that was done, I took several of the nodes and expanded them into questions that I have, areas where I want to learn or deepen my knowledge.
The reason I bring this up in this discussion relates to the comments about focus. My professional interests map helps me to maintain focus. I can zero in on those areas of growth and find people who are experts in those fields to network with and filter out much of the noise.

Useful Networking: Is There Such a Thing?
Norman Dragt, Netherlands, Member
As the four points state, networking should be about bringing something to the network, but also you should be able to take something from it, even it is only a lesson. It seems that most people think networking is boring and has no advantage to their business.
What to me seems the biggest problem is that a lot of people attending do not have the patience to invest in the network. Where most sales people will say that most sales are made after the ninth meeting. So networking takes time and effort. And to be a good networker you should focus and concentrate so you remember what people told you, so you can ask them about it the next time you meet. And that is something that of course is difficult if you are in a hurry to find new customers. Stress makes us focus on dangers, not on others.

Learning to Network
Norman Dragt, Netherlands, Member
A real problem for most people in (social) networking might be remembering what happened to them and discovering the important contacts and information in the bunch of people they spoke to and the heap of information they received during networking. In other words: did the networking really give them what they were looking for? In the end you must be able to justify your networking effort, especially if you are an employee.
So it might be important to learn how to analyse your networking for important people and valuable information.

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