What is Networking?

 By Kelcey Lehrich, AmSpirit Business Connections Director

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “networking” as: ‘the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business’.

When I hear people saying that they are “going to a networking event” I like the smirk to myself and throw a loaded question into the conversation. It typically sounds something like this – “what event are you going to?” They’ll answer with the name of the organization and usually the location of the event. Then I drop the bomb on them and that goes like this: “Interesting… What were you hoping to get out of the event?”. This question typically educes the trance. A blank stare where they look at me like I’m from mars.

The point of my story is this – when people define networking as Mr. Webster does above they are attempting to cultivate productive relationships for employment or business. Or stated otherwise, developing deep relationships of know, like, and trust, so that one can be in the right place at the right time for new opportunities.

If you agree with this definition and (more importantly) this implementation of networking there is only one question left to ask yourself; Is the networking I’m currently engaged in really networking?

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One thought on “What is Networking?

  1. This is a great post, Kelcey! Thank you for sharing the main question you ask – that would make me stop and think as well! As business owners, we should re-evaluate our networking efforts as we make our forecasts for the 2011 year and make your question, "What were you hoping to get out of this networking event?" the focus of our face-to-face marketing efforts.Lisa RaymondDeseyner's Eye Creationslisa@deseynerseyecreations.net

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