Become a better networker!? No!! Improve your Business
Purpose is lost in the noise
Since when has ‘become a better networker’ been the point to going to networking functions? It seems that most of the ‘networking experts’ out there are stuck in the features and benefits mode of business networking events. Almost every general business networking event I have attended in the last six years had someone spruiking the ultimate goal that you should ‘become a better networker’.
This approach misses the mark by miles and from what I have observed commonly creates ‘business networker’ drones. People focused on improving their profile as ‘networker’ rather than learning inter-personal skills and leveraging business networking events to add value to their business. Traditional ‘networking experts’ miss the “Why?” and the “Value”.
Think for a moment about how many networking functions have you attended? How about how many of those networking events had a ‘networking expert’ speaker. Someone at the front of the room giving you tips on how to ‘become a better networker’.
Personally I’ve been to loads of them!
The objection I have in respect of the greater majority of these ‘networking experts’ is that they are no better than the average person in the room. They are teaching what they would like to learn the most; not an unknown thing in any industry. Most have bought into their own propaganda about how good they are.
It’s been said that “The only reason to give a speech is to change the world”. I believe that this is true. On the micro scale of a business networking event, I translate this to ‘the only reason to give a speech is to make a difference and have an impact on the lives of the people in the room’.
So next time you attend a business networking event with speaker profiled as a ‘networking expert’ filter out the noise of why you should ‘become a better networker’. Instead focus on the little gems of inter-personal relationship and communication skills that will help you to improve your business. Most of the time they will be there. If you can learn one more skill at each event you attend, you and your business will grow.