We’ve all heard countless reasons as to why networking and relationship building are key to our professional success, so why then do we neglect them so often? The answer is not the same for all of us, but definitely for the majority of us who get stuck in the doing of things –– and there are always more things to do than we get done!
Below are a couple of conscious or subconscious excuses (and reasons why we should ignore them) we make for ourselves when it comes to relationship building and networking:
1. “I’m just too busy.”
Rubbish. You heard Bill Gates said that busy was the new stupid right? I believe he’s right, because if we are always too busy to even prioritize exactly _what _we should be busy doing, then we are definitely doing it all wrong.
Sit down for a couple of minutes and prioritize the relationships that matter the most to you. It doesn’t even need to be professionally focused – your Mom needs that phone call too every once in a while.
2. “I know they’re important, but I always forget to do it in the heat of the day.”
I get it. I used to get caught in this trap all the time. The easiest way to remember to do a thing is to get organized and find a way to bring it top of mind when you are in a position to actually act on it.
When are you least busy? During lunch? Right after your work day? Prioritize a small chunk of time to reach out and stay connected.
You also have to realize that building lasting relationships requires you to give as much as you want to take. So it can’t (or shouldn’t) always be about you.
3. “I’m too shy” or “It’s too fake and awkward.”
Both of these are fair comments when referring to networking in the traditional sense. Those networking events are horribly inauthentic and transactional.
When it comes to building real relationships with people who can mentor you (or you can mentor), those who share similar interests to you or even someone who you may sell to one day, there shouldn’t be any reason to rush or “play a game”. Building genuine relationships with people takes time.
So then, why do we expect that meeting someone once and giving them our business card will yield any success? Will they really take that call in a year’s time when you think that person is relevant to you? Probably not.
But, would they take that call if you had stayed connected through that entire year? Most likely.
Build meaningful relationships
There are a few key takeaways when it comes to not sucking at building relationships with people:
- Prioritize time for getting and staying connected with your contacts, you know it is important so just do it;
- Set reminders at times during the day when you will actually follow up instead of hitting that snooze button;
- Realize that if you plan to only take from a relationship, there is no relationship; and
- Invest the time it takes to build genuine relationships and make sure you stay in touch over time.
This is a problem I am particularly passionate about and I believe that technology can play a major role in facilitating all of our abilities to build the strongest and longest lasting relationships possible. If you agree with me, sign up to the waitlist at gryds.com.
Brendan Brummer is a successful business operator and founder of Gryds in San Francisco. Gryds is an app that will change the way people build and foster relationships forever. Join the waitlist for a chance to get early access here.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.