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Networking or Relationship Building

By June 6, 2022July 28th, 2022Leadership

Sometimes a small mind shift can make a big difference. It might be reframing a challenge in a way that opens up new solutions. Or, it might be asking a simple follow-up like, “Tell me more about that.” These small actions hold great potential.

If you’re in a position of leadership, shifting your thinking from networking to relationship building is one of those mind shifts that will pay incredible dividends.

Don’t get me wrong. Networking isn’t bad. In fact, I’ve been to those networking gatherings and enjoyed the free appetizers and drinks. In the “old” days before smartphones, I came armed with my business cards and a willingness to strike up a conversation with anyone.

Networking is about creating connections that enable the traffic of ideas and opportunities to flow more easily. When we network with others, we’re hoping to create a mutually beneficial partnership — personally or professionally. To some extent, we will always be networkers.

What if we made a small mind shift and looked at these same conversations as an opportunity to build relationships. Good relationships — in business or marriages — don’t just happen. They are built on more than shared interests or hobbies. In fact, the healthiest relationships are built on the solid foundation of shared values and a desire to serve the other person.

A healthy relationship anticipates conflicts and doesn’t fold when one happens. And if I’m really interested in a healthy relationship, then I will be really interested in what interests you. There is an element of self-sacrifice in healthy relationships.

Unfortunately, much of what we call networking is really focused on advancing my interests. As long as you are useful to that end, we’ll be networking! But once you’re longer useful to my career or sales goals, well … it’s been nice knowing you.

It probably goes without saying, but some people do enter relationships with that mindset. That’s also why we have marriage counseling and divorce lawyers. In fact, I’m not sure I’d really call those relationships.

A good leader wants to add value to those around them. They want others to grow, stretch, and reach their full potential. In short — they care about others. In turn, this makes others want to be around them more.

Give this little mind shift a try and see if it makes a difference. If not, you’re free to network with someone else.

Experience and Background

  • Professor at Warner University
  • masters in business administration (mba)
  • presenter at the WFX National Conference
  • former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
  • helped start 2 for-profit tech companies

Sermon Videos

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Coaching Opportunities

One of the things I enjoy the most is helping individuals or organizations reach their full potential.  It’s been said, “everyone wins when a leader gets better.”

Guest Speaking

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