Most of us know that networking is a key to success, and certainly qualifies as a life hack. Still, the devil is in the details. I have done some reading recently, and here are a couple of books that get into the technicalities of networking.
Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi. This one’s a runaway bestseller, and we’ll be hearing about it for awhile. Since it’s more recent, it’s informed by lots of its predecessors. Here’s a summary of the why and how:
Know where you want to go;
Identify the people who can help you get there;
Get with those people and help them succeed;
Let them reciprocate by helping you do the same;
Stay in regular contact with those people;
Enjoy mutual success and a great relationship.
The book is enjoyable to read and he does give you some of his techniques for success in the networking arena.
One Phone Call Away, by Jeffrey Meshel. The author here has a great service-oriented approach to networking. If you find yourself thinking that networking is essentially using people, or that there’s something slimy about it, read this book for a fresher and more human take on the subject.
Power Schmoozing, by Terri Mandell. This book is a very intense how-to. It is very detailed and points you to processes you can use to come up with a networking plan. The tips are specific, good, and should work. Power Schmoozing doesn’t advocate a toe-in-the water approach. A reviewer on Amazon agrees with me: “The techniques are brash and a bit scary. But you know what? I tried it, and it really works!” This would be good to read and try after you’ve practiced some more docile forms of networking.
As I’ve tried to increase my personal networks and accomplish goals, that information management becomes a problem. JibberJobber is a new site I’ve found that helps with this. It’s a web 2.0 software as a service that helps you keep track of your contacts and visualize them—both geographically and as a social network. The site was originally designed to help folks organize their job searches—but its applications are pretty broad, and if you’re like me, ways of visualizing who people are and how I met them are always welcome.