So a new Hudson survey is telling us why people behave the way they do and of course that will drive how we act in the future. For example, the survey results indicate that networking is the most common way workers (28 percent of them) and managers (33 percent of them) got their current job. So let’s talk about networking. I know I bring it up every once and a while, but that shouldn’t be a reflection of how often you incorporate it into your life.
Some people network constantly and it shows. Others network all the time as well, but their styles are subtler and usually that makes for a more effective strategy. Still, you’ve got to hand it to those individuals who instinctively know how to pay attention to people and remember their names.
In the dark ages, when I started working people used to tell me that I was a great networker and I had no idea what they were talking about. And I certainly didn’t really like the word, so I probably sort of stopped listening anyway. But as time went on I realized how very important this skill is for just about everyone. But you’ve got to learn how to do with finesse so that the people with whom you’re networking don’t feel as if each time you pay attention the rolodex in your mind is doing the ka-ching equivalent: another contact, another opportunity.
But the problem with that is that people usually know they’re being had. In other words, they can see right through the small talk. Better not to talk at all unless what you’re saying resonates with the people you’ve asked to listen.
Soon I’ll be running a Q&A with author and professional trainer Peggy Klaus. Her new book, The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They’d Learned Sooner, focuses on those everyday skills that so many of us take for granted and some rarely think about. But according to Klaus, it’s not the shortfalls in one’s technical expertise that holds a person back but rather the shortcomings in “their social, communication, and self-management behaviors.” Now there’s a concept and one I can’t wait to write about in future posts. Stay tuned.