The Real Way to Build a Social Network – Fortune Tech

If there is a guru of networking, it is Reid Hoffman. Here he explains how to do it right — and wrong — in an excerpt from his new book with Ben Casnocha, The Start-Up of You.

FORTUNE — Forget Dale Carnegie. He understood how important connections were, but missed out on the authenticity part — which, say Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, authors of The Start-Up of You, is the key to building a truly helpful professional network. Here’s how to leverage that network into the career you only dreamed of.

Many people are turned off by the topic of networking. They think it’s slimy, inauthentic. Picture the consummate networker: a high-energy fast talker who collects as many business cards as he can and attends mixers sporting slicked-back hair. Or the overambitious college kid who frantically e-mails alumni, schmoozes with the board of trustees, and adds anyone he’s ever met as an online friend. Such people are drunk on networking Kool-Aid — and are looking at a potentially nasty hangover.

Luckily, building your network doesn’t have to be like that. Old-school networkers are transactional. They pursue relationships thinking solely about what other people can do for them. Relationship builders, on the other hand, try to help others first. They don’t keep score. And they prioritize high-quality relationships over a large number of connections.

Building a genuine relationship with another person depends on at least two abilities. The first is seeing the world from another person’s perspective. No one knows that better than the skilled entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs succeed when they make stuff people will pay money for — and that means understanding what’s going on in the heads of customers. Likewise, in relationships it’s only when you put yourself in the other person’s shoes that you begin to develop an honest connection.

Read on at Fortune Tech >>

Shortlink:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.