I attended a busy event at Babson College last week, and continue to be both impressed and disappointed as I observed networking in action.
The word "networking" may bring to mind thoughts of busy bars with rapid fire business card exchanges, insincere glad-handing, and constant elevator pitching. I observed some of this at Babson last week. That was the disappointing part.
What some folks miss is that networking is a means to an end, not an end in itself. That end is building and sustaining relationships with people. When you think about networking, think about creating authentic and honest relationships. By focusing on how you can help others to succeed and prosper, you contribute to their success as well as your own. But first things first: you have to meet people of similar minds and similar business interests who will be good connections. That's where the networking comes in.
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