Work the Pond! Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life | Darcy Rezac

Summary of: Work the Pond! Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life
By: Darcy Rezac

Introduction

Immerse yourself in the world of positive networking with Darcy Rezac’s book, ‘Work the Pond! Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life.’ Instead of seeking benefits for oneself, this book emphasizes a nurturing and symbiotic approach where individuals help others to create meaningful relationships and build a robust network. Dive into the crucial aspects of networking such as establishing connections with various ‘frogs,’ learning the secrets of positive networking, and developing one’s networking skill set by following the seven steps using the acronym ‘NETWORK.’ This book transforms the notion of networking, as it teaches you how to move beyond self-interest and personal gain.

Positivity in Networking

Networking is a vital skill required to develop nurturing relationships and advance in life. This personal network can be amplified by focusing on building relationships with casual acquaintances and improving the approach to networking. The key lies in approaching networking with a positive attitude by shifting the focus from ‘what can you do for me?’ to ‘how can I help you?’ By helping others, one can receive positive results in return. The new establishment is shifting from being a club to a network, emphasizing the importance of positive networking as a life skill. With practice, networking can be mastered just like any other skill.

Networking Lessons from The Frog Prince

The fairytale The Frog Prince offers valuable lessons on networking. The essence of networking is to kiss a lot of frogs until you find a professional match. You can categorize the frogs in your pond as royals, tree frogs, chorus frogs, just frogs, and toads. The good networkers are tree frogs who make contacts and are ready to advance in the croaking order. On the other hand, toads are perverse, ornery creatures that move down the frog chain instead of up it.

The traditional way of networking, where you do favors with the unspoken expectation of something in return, is very transactional. In contrast, networking should involve discovering like-minded people who can offer you support, guidance, and opportunities.

The secret to successful networking is to understand the dynamics of the pond and your role in it. You need to figure out which frogs are in your pond and which ones you need to avoid. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge, make contacts, and advance in the croaking order.

Take a cue from The Frog Prince and kiss a lot of frogs until you find your handsome prince or princess. With the right mindset and approach, networking can lead you to the right connections that will propel your career or business to the next level.

The Seven Secrets of Positive Networking

Building meaningful connections through positive networking involves accumulating social capital by bonding and bridging. This can be achieved by meeting more people, helping them, using business cards, treating all contacts as equals, giving permission, asking intelligent questions, and sharing knowledge. These strategies will not only enhance your network but also establish long-lasting relationships with strangers, providing opportunities for growth, success, and personal development.

Networking with a Purpose

Building a positive network involves being solicitous to help people you meet by introducing new contacts, helping them find jobs, and making relevant introductions. This strategy can improve your impression and increase your opportunities for success. Tom Donahue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, follows this approach to networking. Donahue’s focus is continuously helping people, from assisting in finding job openings, providing referrals, or recommending a doctor for ailing parents. To maintain positive contacts, treat them like gold, and help them without expecting any benefits in return.

The Power of Networking

In the book “Networking is a Contact Sport,” the author demonstrates that everyone is interconnected with each other, and how networking can help achieve both personal and professional goals. This is based on the concept of “six degrees of separation” originated in 1967 by psychologist Stanley Milgram. The more contacts one has, the more extensive their network becomes. By doing good deeds for others and building a strong reputation, networking can lead to favorable outcomes, including securing new jobs. The author recommends developing “shepa,” a special awareness or sensitivity, to networking possibilities at all times. The book also features a seven-step process using the acronym “NETWORK” to help readers learn how to network successfully.

Building a Successful Network

Building a successful network requires more than just exchanging business cards. In Asia, giving a business card to new acquaintances is as routine as introducing yourself. Your business card is essentially your “brand,” so it’s essential to ensure that it represents you well. Keep it simple and readable, avoiding small fonts and overly creative designs that may not translate across cultural divides. Additionally, make sure to bring your university-aged children with you to events in which your spouse cannot attend. Finally, never assume that you don’t need business cards, particularly when out of work – this is when it’s most crucial to have them on hand.

Making a Great First Impression

The book summary article advises readers to remember the four Es when meeting new people: establish eye contact, extend your hand for a firm handshake, exchange cards, and engage in friendly conversation. It uses Jacqueline Kennedy’s example as a gracious hostess to encourage making every guest feel important and special by speaking to people directly, listening attentively, and breaking the ice with a smile. It also advises avoiding a sweaty handshake and not intruding on others’ personal space, respecting different cultures. Finally, using the other person’s name is recommended, as it is their favorite word.

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