What is Positive Networking ®

World's Best Definition of Networking by Guy Kawasaki

A Better Way To Network

Positive Networking ® is “discovering what you can do for someone else.” When we introduced this concept in 1993 in The Frog and Prince: Secrets of Positive Networking, the popular networking adage of the day was “it’s not what you know but who you know” and what they could do for you. That just didn’t seem right to us.

But Here’s What’s Kind of Amazing

When we tell people that ‘networking is not about you’, they like it. “You mean I don’t have to go out and sell myself?” “I don’t have to come back from a networking event with a sale?”

Why Be A Positive Networker?

  • It’s how you build high-trust relationships which are the relationships we all want
  • It’s makes you memorable for all the right reasons
  • It helps with the biggest networking challenge, conversation.  If you are thinking about the other person you start asking them questions to discover ‘what you can do’ for them
  • It’s a great way to stay connected because you think of ways to do something for them!

Do We See A Trend Happening?

The nice thing is that there are really cool ‘thought leaders’ who are now huge champions of this idea that relationship building is about what you can do for others.

Guy Kawasaki, best-selling author, Apple Fellow and one of the top bloggers in the world says that our outward, what-can-I-do-for-you attitude is the key to building extensive, long-lasting connections…it is the ‘world’s best definition‘.

Tim Sanders says, “If all I do is take what I can get from you, I’m not truly relevant to your life. You may have to speak to me now, but if I lose the job that brings us into contact, you probably won’t speak to me again.” – Love is the Killer App

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, in his excellent book The Start-Up of You, (with Ben Casnocha) in 2012, captures this what-can-I-do-for-you ethos:

  • “Try to help people first
  • Don’t keep score
  • Be aware that many good deeds get reciprocated, but don’t be calculated about it
  • Think about relationships all the time not just when you need something”

We couldn’t have said it better!

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