Beyond Good Networking


There is a big difference between cooperation and collaboration in networking. Cooperation is working together agreeably. Everybody has the same imagination of networking and of achieving results. It is like reciprocity – I like you three times, and you like me in that way, too. It is a tit-for-tat arrangement with no shared purpose or interdependence.

It is like: “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine!”

Collaboration, on the contrary, can mean working together, but each person may have different ideas and a different imagination of good networking. And that is often hard to understand for some people. There are people who don’t show any empathy or tact. They overlook totally that other people could feel hurt through their behavior or actions. They have no sense of sensitivity or consideration.

Many of us work with people in the networks who don’t share our cultural norms and have different expectations for how we should behave. This can lead to a problem of authenticity, when we try to react according to the other person’s imagination or expectation.

Collaboration becomes necessary when interdependences are so great that without a shared purpose, the certain goal could not be achieved. Collaboration can occur among strangers, and even among competitors.

When you’re developing a team that collaborates, it begins to be aggressive, not just agreeable. Collaboration means working together aggressively!

According to Dr. John C. Maxwell there are four changes needed to become a collaborative type of player:

1. Perception
You need to see teammates differently; you need to see them as collaborators, not as competitors.

2. Attitude
As a team player, you need to be supportive, not suspicious, of teammates, because if you trust others, you’ll treat them differently – you’ll treat them better.

3. Focus
A collaborative type of team player concentrates on the team, not himself or herself. Cavett Robert said it right: “True progress in any field is a relay race and not a single event,” so the focus is different.

4. Results
You begin to create victories through multiplication.

How we present our personal identity in today’s world of ubiquitous connectivity and social media has become an important aspect of leadership.

Growing as a leader should mean stretching the limits of who we are, doing new things that can make us uncomfortable, but that teach us through direct experience who we want to become. That does not mean a radical personality makeover – small changes in the way we behave, communicate, and interact – often make a world of difference in how we effectively lead.

Important is always:
1. Stay true to yourself
2. Maintain strict coherence between what you feel and what you say or do
3. Make values-based choices

That leads to authenticity … and others feel that! Authentic leaders are individuals who learn from their experiences. These leaders make time to examine their experiences and to reflect on them, and in doing so they grow as individuals and as leaders.