In the course of networking, you have no doubt experienced times where the balance of giving and receiving was skewed. That can happen for a variety of reasons. Ideally, your networking efforts will be in balance in general, over time and relative to each situation. If this is not the case, you may be habitually prone to one end or the other of the scale of giving and receiving. Or, you may have decided that balance is always necessary no matter what the situation is calling for.
Being habitual in networking can affect everything from income flow to your state of mind. By habitual, I mean that 75% or more of the time, your pattern is to be in one of the above three ways, regardless of:
- what each situation is calling for;
- how you are feeling;
- how the other person is feeling, and
- who you are with.
Imagine a spectrum of giving and receiving where the far left is 100% receiving and the far right is 100% giving. The middle is a balance of both. In general, where would you say that you are 75% or more of the time—in the giving or receiving zone, or determined to have 100% balance every time no matter what? Sometimes, we go through phases of mostly giving or receiving, or working hard to stay midpoint. That is not only fine but sometimes, necessary. I am referring to an overall pattern of being off kilter with yourself and therefore, others. I have been the perfect example of habitual giving with its far reaching impact.
The Land of Over Giving
I used to spend almost every networking encounter on the far right end, the habit of giving. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that I am an avid connector. Another factor is that hands down, giving is much easier for me, and far more comfortable. In my zeal to connect people, I have often grossly neglected receiving from others. Some of you may be thinking, “But isn’t it better to give than to receive?” Or, what about the concept that “Givers gain”? My answer is, sometimes. In my case, giving did not automatically lead to receiving because with this pattern, there was no space for that! The price of my habitual giving has been high. I have lost countless hours for building my business as well as missing revenue opportunities that were right in front of me. In addition, I have robbed others of the gift of giving. Turning this pattern around has been extremely rewarding! If you are habitual in your giving and receiving in networking, there are ways to help yourself be in balance.
Next time: Networking in balance!