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Top 7 Strategies to the Foundation of Networking
By Janice Smallwood-McKenzie
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Clearly, the word "Networking" has been overused through the years, and yet when it comes to the foundation of networking, we should not underestimate the power of connecting with people, also called networking!
There is a beauty in networking that will out-last any business connection and that is the foundation of networking... which simply states, "Everyone is Important," we've the same basic needs of being needed.
Everyone is important and our society can only exist with us having mutual respect for each other, and your very existance qualifies and validates you.
- Commandment 1
When we choose to simply love, our giving and receiving becomes unconditional. We can listen and not be caught up in the vicious cycle of judgment.
We can also watch people and suspend judgment because we are learning to understand that our perception of an individual’s behavior does not make it so. This is the essence of friendliness.
Someone once said, “I keep the telephone of my mind open to love and peace, when fear, doubt and negative call they get a busy signal, soon they will forget my number.”
- Commandment 2
A smile makes us appear approachable. Some people are scared by a smile simply because they are not accustomed to unsolicited warmth and acceptance.
Everyone needs acceptance. If we do not reach out and smile, who will? Smile just for the beauty of smiling. It takes 72 muscles to frown, only 14 muscles to smile. Put your muscles to good use and smile.
A smile, like a butterfly, brings beauty to the world simply through its existence.
You can create the same experience by sharing your smile.
- Commandment 3
We are inclined to take the art of networking for granted. In doing so, we inadvertently violate unspoken laws governing communication. Be considerate of personal space. Upon meeting someone new, do not assume it is okay to touch him or her.
Be mindful that communication is 7% words, 38% tone/inflection and 55% non-verbal.
Be careful of your non-verbal messages, especially when you are dealing with the opposite sex. Use caution until you can safely determine that your new contacts, friends and loved ones are comfortable with touching. Once you learn this, you are free to enjoy touching as part of your communication.
- Commandment 4
Although humor is a quality that we all possess, we are usually somewhat reluctant to display it. Humor eases pain, releases burdens and can keep your stress levels down, use it! Learn to literally live until you die.
Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Most people die with the music still in them, while others live their lives desperately looking for the music.”
A friend recently made reference to a delightful person with a pleasant spirit who made his transition. She was very sad by the loss of this person whom she did not know personally. I asked her why was she so sad, she remarked that whenever she saw him, he was so very pleasant and she missed the beauty of his spirit and his humor.
- Commandment 5
Laughter, like humor, will keep the blues away. Many times we laugh at others, but the true secret to the benefits of laughter is being able to laugh at yourself. Enjoy yourself; you are going to be with yourself for the rest of your life!
Other people want to be around people who enjoy laughing and will go out of their way to include them.
Most of us enjoy being around people that can bring the beauty of laughter to our atmosphere. I still enjoy watching “I Love Lucy,” after all these years it still makes me laugh.
- Commandment 6
Lagniappe (Lan yapp)
This is a southern term, which means “a little something extra,” simply share an extra portion of your kindness, joy, peace and patience with those you meet. It is nice to be important but more important to be nice.
That little something extra will create goodwill, trust and inspire confidence, which will make you an excellent candidate for the job, contract or business venture.
I’ll give you that little something extra at the end of the book, so keep reading.
- Commandment 7
When it comes to networking and warmth, sincerity is the key element. That sincerity guides the spirit of networking and is what sets this book apart from the dozens of others providing networking advice.
The power of genuine concern, particularly when it comes to networking, can be summed in the advice passed down by our grandmothers. “People do not care how much you have and how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Ms. Smallwood-McKenzie is a Networking Coach in Los Angeles and she coaches small businesses and professionals in expanding their political, business, and social bases. She is the Author of The 101 Commandments of Networking: Common Sense But Not Common Practice. Enjoy Free Preview compliments of http://www.101NetworkingCommandments.com or visit Amazon.com to read Customer Reviews of this guide. This networking guide is available wherever fine books are sold. Janice's e-mail address is
Article Submitted On: May 13, 2005