More than an Art, networking is a complete expression of who we are. It is a skill which flows from confidence, personal energy, knowledge of self and honesty of expression as well as the value that we bring to collaboration. It does not over emphasize ‘you’ except to the extent of your interest in others and the abilities that you bring to facilitate mutual success. The impact of being genuine is of importance, it is especially powerful when coupled with consistent vibrant energy and well-developed listening. Used to build mutually beneficial relationships networking leaves a memorable imprint of who we are and how we create transformation through our vocation.
So, what makes folks cringe at the idea of networking and why does it seem like such an unnatural pursuit? Is it the common mind set associated with networking that leads us to believe that it is transactional instead of transformational? Is it the manner that networking events are promoted and run? It doesn’t really matter, what does matter is that anyone can change their mind set and practices to become more genuine more effective networkers.
For networking to become this complete expression of who we are, we need to know ourselves; to understand, cultivate and express our unique intelligence and value. I like to think this that this expression emerges as passion. While this may be simple to understand, it can take a bit of effort to align our vocation with our core values and our Constitution; there is a lot of noise in the world that distracts us. For instance, while I may excel in my profession based upon analysis and specific studies, my real skill, engagement, and expression come from personal energy, curiosity and creativity (a kinesthetic kind of intelligence) centered around a core interest in facilitating thinking, perspective and collaboration. For the record, I have been accused of ‘thinking too much’ but it can make for interesting conversation and perspective!
Taking the time to understand the root of our skills and how to empower those skills will provide many benefits including a level of confidence and passion that is a complete expression of who we are.
How do we define ourselves? For me, I thought about those activities where I continuously excelled and that most satisfied me; within those activities, I asked the question ‘what three words define me?’ In each of those activities, the words were curiosity, creativity, and grit along with a desire to achieve Mastery (which I believe to be a journey, not a destination). Furthering the process I realized that those words were not fully expressed in my vocation because I was allowing my vocation to define me instead of allowing me (at the core) to define my vocation. Once I made this connection I gained a sense of personal power in the expression of who I am.
“Making networking that complete expression of who we are is really about ‘who we are.’”
One more thing, I do believe that we have to continuously cultivate our personal power. For me, that cultivation comes through physical activity and calming the mind. I find that these activities further my confidence, consistency, energy, and passion; if only because they facilitate a reduced the level of life noise and stress. Sometimes noise reduction brings clarity, it certainly facilitates listening.
About James J Venezia, CPCU
Jim is an insurance and risk management professional with Phoenix Insurance Group of Chester, NJ. He develops insurance programs which help innovators, entrepreneurs, executive teams and successful professionals manage risk through commercial, professional and cyber risk insurance products. Jim has a passion for collaborating with visionary leaders and passionate individuals in all walks of life.
Jim is a Graduate of Villanova University and a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU).
For a consultation contact him by phone at 908-507-7126 or email firstname.lastname@example.org