Developing your network

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[vimeo id="100993986"] You know ‘Network’ is a real buzzword these days. Everyone talks about developing their network or going out to an event to do some networking. It seems that much of our professional life revolves around networking and developing these relationships. Often this concept can be misunderstood as a negative way to use people. However, it’s not bad to have a good network of contacts. It’s only bad when your intention is bad. So here’s how you can cultivate the right attitude to networking.

First, you’re not looking to sabotage anything. If you’re networking to find the next career move, perhaps into a larger company, your intentions are not evil. In fact, you’re looking for ways to contribute to the growth and health of the new company. You shouldn’t feel guilty about making friends who can open doors for you when your intentions are good. You’re thinking from the basis that you believe in the company or organization. You believe that you can contribute to their success in a very positive way.

Second, you’re not just looking out for yourself. When you network, you’re also looking for people who you can serve as well and perhaps give guidance on their next career move. We all know that conversation with our friends where they share about what they would like to do and immediately a name pops up in your head that you can refer your friend to. In other words, networking is about serving the people in your circle and helping them connect with people who they need to be meeting with. You’re helping others by guiding them to find the next phase of their career.

Third, you’re developing opportunities to invest in your community. Whether your working in the local government, ministry or business, you are serving a need in the community in which you reside. Networking events provide the opportunity to expand your platform for serving the people in your community. No matter what industry you work in, it exists because there’s a need for it. So, as you network and meet with people, new opportunities will reveal themselves where you can have a greater influence in your local community and continue to serve its people.

Networking isn’t only important for business and government leaders. Local ministry leaders must also be intentional about building relationships in the communities they serve. I think ministry leaders sometimes underestimate their own ministry platform and think that it is limited to the pulpit. The truth is that if ministry leaders learn to partner with people in the community to lead transformational efforts, they can truly transform their cities.

So in short, make friends, serve friends, and cultivate new opportunities to transform your surroundings for the better. What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear from you. I hope you have an awesome day!