Connecting Book

Connecting: Key Networking Tips for Business and Life (2016)

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This book covers every conceivable aspect of business and personal networking, and considers networking as a way of life. The author has extensive training in both psychology and business development, and brings to bear both areas of expertise as the foremost expert in the psychology of networking. There are over 100 immediately useful networking tips, as well as numerous networking exercises that can be used by readers and leaders of networking groups to increase personal awareness and build relationships. The book addresses business development through strategic networking with pithy tips to aid in the building and nurturing of long-term relationships for gaining both inbound and outbound referrals, warm introductions and having a viable network. It is a veritable tool kit of numerous tips, guides, strategies and tactics that have been used by thousands of people in a wide variety of settings.

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Networking is presented as a process where giving and getting involved are the primary focus. Readers are continually taught and urged to find ways to be valuable to others, maintain a high level of ethical behavior, to show up, and to show up consistently. Dr. Saleebey’s holistic approach to the networking process has been utilized by many networking groups, professional firms, organizations and alumni groups. There are accompanying real life stories which serve to amplify the points made by the author.

Some of the key topics are: the relative value of personal and business conversations, the utility of a wider or deeper networking, and the choices between in person and virtual networking. The state-of-the-art information considers both traditional approaches and current trends in networking practices.

Connecting: Key Networking Tips for Business and Life is a must read for everyone who has been told that they should be networking. The book is easy to read and immediately useful. It cuts through the morass of information on networking to the most important aspects of the process.

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CONNECTING: Beyond The Name Tag (2012)

A book designed to assist business professionals and others in expanding their professional and personal networks to develop referrals, resources, ideas and contacts. Readers will increase their sphere of influence, enhancing personal development and career advancement. They will learn how to become a power networker while building mutually beneficial relationships. How and why do people connect? That is the focus of this in-depth look into the world of business networking. Tapping extensive personal experience in psychology and business development, observations and numerous examples, Dr. Saleebey reveals the keys to becoming a successful networker by sharing his holistic approach to making connections with others. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or just beginning, you will learn to move beyond the name tag and leverage your connections to engage in networking as a “way of life.”

Networking as a Way of Life

A Holistic Approach to Connecting

On May 16 I am giving the keynote address at the UCLA Alumni Day, talking to alums about networking as a way of life, and as a holistic process.  This post will summarize the main talking points and really summarize the most important aspects of networking in my estimation.  The main point is that networking is about building genuine and mutually productive relationships over a period of time.  Networking is much more than exchanging business cards with as many people as possible.

The basic paradigms of networking are as follows:  The first one is Know Like Trust Refer.  It simply means that you have to first know someone, then like them.  After that you have to build trust which then enables you to make a referral, strategic introduction or trusted advice.  Likability is vital to making the networking process work.  We simply tend to do more business and associate more with people who are likable.

The other paradigm is Commerce Camaraderie Community, which highlights some essential components of networking.  We often do it to gain business, and that can be the primary motivation to network in the first place.  Though we may start with a business (commerce) motivation, what often ensues over time are real friendships and a sense of community and the comfort that can provide.

A central principle of networking that must be understood is: GIVE FIRST.  If you approach networking with the attitude of “What can I offer and give to others or a group” the rewards will be plentiful.  In short, pay it forward. Get involved, show up consistently and remember that it takes time to develop strong and enduring relationships, both business and personal.  Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it.

In networking you have to be able to introduce yourself in a way that is concise, clear, compelling and memorable.  It is often called an elevator pitch, and is the starting point in the networking process.  It can either be memorized or altered over time.  Both can be effective.  Memorable stories are a good way to do an elevator speech.

I also discuss the nature of conversation, focusing on the difference and relative value of business versus personal conversations.  Though business conversations are essential and useful, it is when you get “beyond the name tag” to the back of the business card that you gain the most in building relationships.  The business relationship is likely to be limited if you don’t get to know the other person on a personal level.

Should you build your network wide with many people in a large geographic region, or go deep with fewer organizations and groups in a more limited area?  It really depends on what kind of work you do and how much of your competition is in the same groups.  Generally, the more unique your work, the wider you will probably want to network.  The amount of time you have for business development/networking is also a determining factor.

There is no substitute for in person networking where you have actual face to face conversations, and actually see others.  This is especially true if you are really likable.  Though in person networking is critical, you can and should use social media to widen your reach and connect in some way with your broader network.  LinkedIn is essential and the more personal sites like Facebook can be wisely used to enhance the personal side of networking.

In sum, networking is best utilized in an ethical way to build meaningful long term relationships, increase commerce and provide a genuine sense of community.  It becomes a way of life when the relationships flower and mutually beneficial relationships abound.  My businesses owe their success largely to my years of networking.  I have abundant and consistent referrals and offers of introductions, numerous trusted advisors who I can not only consult but provide referrals, a few communities of great value, and friends.  It is a way of life and a holistic part of my business and personal life.