Me, “Teach networking.” Tip 12
Networking is an added benefit and an extension of kindness, although not as altruistic. I of course taught Michael it was important to be kind to everyone. Those lessons were some of his first.
When Michael started school I began to explain some of the long-term benefits to kindness, and the development of a solid network. I informed him that everyone he met could be building blocks in his future – even those bullies, especially those bullies!
In early elementary school we spoke about career building. We discussed how later in life, people would be in positions of influence. Maybe a teacher, or fellow student, would one day be sitting on an interview panel, maybe a relative even.
We talked about reputation, integrity and the value of those traits. We discussed how people judge your actions. We explored positive and negative behavior and how your future is affected by your choices.
We went deep early at our house.
The conversations never ended, repetition and reinforcement were frequent. When Michael was awake, I was on deck. Like I said, “We talked and talked and talked.” We talked so much we hit networking early.
Networking may sound like an advanced topic but is relevant at all ages. To me it was important Michael be aware of the long-term implications of his behavior and importance of a positive reputation.
I realized how forming relationships,dealing with difficult people, not causing conflict, and respecting others would be all required skills in ensuring success and happiness. We often discussed reputation, how one is developed, and what type we were aiming for.
Michael knew what it meant to give his word, to be a good sport, to contribute and the value of working well with others. He wanted to have a strong, solid and positive reputation. He also wanted to have a strong, solid and positive network.
Michael’s network is so wide these days. It is now full with people I have never met and will likely never meet. His reputation continues to be of importance to him and his credibility firmly established.
Early lessons crafted for a toddler in kindergarten, have resulted into a solid respect for integrity which resulted in a booming network. In recognizing we all have value and kindness matters, Michael has developed a foundation conducive in friendship, family and in his future. His network is vast and growing with each contact.
A network is relationship based, as is life. I think the factors that build a solid network will also be present in respectful relationships. People respond well to those who mean what they say, to those who hold high standards. Connections are made with people who have good manners, those who return emails, who remember names, who are friendly and kind. It’s the little things.
Things such as punctuality, manners, kindness and integrity may be under appreciated at times; however, when demonstrated respect can blossom and connections become meaningful and long lasting.
Your network is not only about who you know, but how you are known.