If you look anywhere at information about how people find jobs or work the data will tell you that somewhere in the region of 70% of people get their jobs through networks or contacts. So the building of those networks is critical. The old adage 'it's not what you know, it's who you know' holds true.
So how does one build alliances with others?
Networking is all about reciprocity. It's not about what can you do for me but what can I do for you. It's not about can you give me a job but about how I can help you along your journey so you can help me. If networking is about finding information, it’s also about giving it.
Many years ago I read Dale Carnegie’s 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' and it’s message stays with me. There are great wisdoms here, whether you are networking in the real world or virtually. So here are some of those great words of wisdom
Don't criticise, condemn or complain
Give honest and sincere appreciation
Arouse in the other person an eager want
Become genuinely interested in other people
Remember the other person's name
Be a good listener, encourage people to talk about themselves
Talk in terms of the other person's interests
Make the other person feel important- and do it sincerely
The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
Show respect for other people's opinions. Never say ‘you’re wrong’
If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
Begin in a friendly way
Get the other person saying 'yes yes' immediately
Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
Let the other person feel the idea was theirs
Try honestly to see the other’s point of view
My other advice is.. do small goods along the way. That is the way that you will get remembered.
Now let’s be honest I can’t say that I do all of those all the time but I try.
So when you are looking for networks and seekig information remember good old Dale and embrace his principles. They might just help.