What is NetWORKing Really?

There are at least six types of business organizations to consider joining in order to develop your business through networking. Depending on your time constraints, select at least two or three groups for participation. However – and this is critical, no matter what groups you end up participating in – remember that it’s not called “net-sit” or “net-eat,” it’s called “net-WORK,” and if you want to build your business through word-of-mouth, you must “work” the networking groups you belong to.

Six of these networking types include the Casual Contact Network, Strong Contact Network, Community Service Clubs, Professional Associations, Social Business Organizations, and Women or Men’s Business Organizations. For this article, we are going to focus on the ‘Strong’ Contact Network, what it is and what it takes to make it work!

In a Strong Contact Network, you have to approach it like a part of your business. It is not to be considered as an extracurricular activity.  You have to put it into your plan, on your calendar and put forth an effort worthy of the results you are looking for.  We all have heard this, “You get out of it what you put into it” and this is especially true in netWORKing.  But another of my favorite quotes for an approach to netWORKing is  “A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats”. You have been to a meeting where everything was like netWORK magic the members were present and prepared, the speaker had passion, the individual elements of the meeting spoke to us as fun loving professionals on a deep level where we jelled with every aspect.  This is netWORKing at its finest and it takes the majority of the members to keep the magic happening.

FYT.jpgIn a Strong Contact Network, there is a sense of ownership to the group by each member, they are invested in its success and take pride in its accomplishments. Everyone has a role whether it is titled or not and each member makes an effort to participate and be noticed for the value they bring.  Because of this, there is a strong sense of responsibility to be a member that matters that does not just occupy a seat but lights it on fire.  Members give thought to what they say, how they contribute and find ways to improve the group as they understand the rewards they reap from this effort are greatly increased by the level of value they continually bring.

Most importantly you will notice in a Strong Contact Network there is a feeling of family. The members look out for each other and exceed the level of a referral group to a gathering of friends striving to be better in all they do.  They look for ways to do things together outside the regular meetings because they have been selective with who is brought into the group that they actually enjoy each others company in more than just a professional setting.  Plus, they become each others motivators, confidants, support and when in need they turn first to the members because they have become an integral part of each others lives.

If you are in a Strong Contact Network and have yet to feel this amazing and extremely satisfying professional relationship where you feel a loss when you cannot attend a meeting I urge you to look closer to how you are connecting.  Take a look at the top performers and connect with them for guidance on reaching this level as there is an awesome advanced level of excitement and a perfect connection with others that comes when all the pieces fall into place. This Strong Contact Network is where professionals become friends become family and magic happens in our heart, minds and souls! I invite you to find your tribe, surround yourself with people who will lift your boat with theirs, make the commitment to genuinely connect with them of your time and talents and enjoy the benefits that will become abundantly yours! ~K.Kirkland