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The Human Art of Networking: A Good Cause and Giving Heart

As networking professionals we build relationships with our fellow humans. It follows that anything we can do to identify and bolster our humanity might be a good thing.

Sharing our passion to help an external cause – something outside our business – provides a number of benefits:

  • it obviously shows that we have a heart, that we have concern for something beyond our own self interest;
  • it communicates that our life has some breadth, it has scope that is greater than the domain of our business;
  • and it also provides a critical opportunity to establish non-business points of connection.

These connecting points are essential to relationship building. If the only connection you have with another person is through a business transaction, that relationship is no different than the one you have with your water utility. However, if you bolster that relationship with a shared passion to help with a cause, you will have built something entirely different. Something strong. Something lasting. Something that can whether a storm.

The truth is many of the strongest and most profitable business relationships begin with a shared charitable passion.

Key #1 – Adopt a Good Cause

A good cause is something for which you have a great passion (this is non-negotiable), something with wide appeal, and something that has opportunities to engage locally.

Key #2 – Give as You Can

As you can…give your time, talent and/or treasure. At the very least, be an information conduit. As a networking professional you have numerous opportunities to share about happening that are important to you. Make your chosen cause one of your regular talking points.

Key #3 – Know and Tell

To prove your commitment, take time to know the key stories of your chosen cause:

  • How did it get its start? – Foundation Story – there is always something profound here.
  • What is its impact? – a Mission based Success story – be specific!
  • Where is it headed? – What is its future Vision?

Not only will stories illustrate your passion, but they will truly and substantially benefit the organization by helping others to experience its work through your words. This is, after all, the power of stories.

Adopting a Good Cause is not only a good and right thing to do; it is extraordinarily beneficial to you as a business professional. It helps others see you as a fellow human and provides incredibly strong points of connection upon which the deepest relationships are built.

Adopt a Good CauseGive as Your CanKnow and Tell

You have a giving heart. Celebrate it!

 

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