Build relationships, don't network! For many professionals, networking has become a dirty word, and consequently, it is easy to procrastinate. There is no deadline, after all, so the logic goes and one can quickly push it off and do it later that month, quarter... or year.
Cognitive psychology will tell you that "Sometimes executives can benefit by changing the way they think, especially when their thinking limits their success." I love the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, the former First Lady:
"No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent."
This is a remarkably insightful comment about self-esteem and is consistent with cognitive therapy, which has the following underlying philosophical basis:
What you choose to think determines what you feel and what you do next. If you are thinking poorly, you will feel bad, and you will make poor decisions.
So in terms of the topic of this post, don't think about networking but rather think about building relationships that will bring about mutual benefit for the long run.
This thinking was brought home to me this week when out of the blue two acquaintances that I hadn't heard from in several months got back in touch. In both instances, my attempts to reconnect and meet up were going unanswered (had I been ghosted passed through my mind more than once). However, I maintained my efforts to connect, sharing what I considered interesting and insightful articles or recommendations for books that I felt they would enjoy. I am delighted to say that one meetup has already occurred and we are now exploring a mutually beneficial way of collaborating on an exciting new initiative. The other will happen shortly, and I am excited about picking up where we left off over wine and nibbles!