Three Networking "Disconnects" and some corrections to them Part I - Jeff Hexter

Lately, I've encountered some situations where I noticed some, let’s call them "misunderstandings" or "disconnects from reality", regarding networking. These encounters have come from 1-2-1 meetings with novice networkers, from questions at presentations I have given, and even from a March 14 article in The Wall Street Journal by Peggy Noonan. I have sorted them into three broad categories, and I want to discuss each one. Those categories are:

1. "I hate networking..." or "I hate networking, but I like building relationships..."
2. I'm here to sell (or get a job, or meet an investor...) but no one here is buying (or hiring, or investing...)
3. Who am I to do a 1-2-1 meeting with?

"I hate networking"
I've heard this comment made in various forms by people who may have had a bad experience in their past attempts at networking. Or maybe they are new to the process and have not yet realized that networking is actually just a formal term for building relationships.

There is zero evidence that networking is ever taught at the college level, and my kids in high-school have never come home and mentioned it to me at the dinner table, so it should be no surprise that educated people in the workforce are unfamiliar with the mindset, processes, and value of networking. As I mentioned in my very first networking notes, I write these to clarify my own thinking about networking and hopefully better explain it to others.

The disconnect from the reality of networking here is simple: if you hate networking, you logically cannot also like building mutually beneficial relationships, since the two things are identical.

I'd estimate that 80% of your success at networking involves internalizing the mindset (by that I mean the personal goal and processes that work) of building mutually beneficial relationships, and if that was all you did you would see great value in the experience. 

I'll deal with more in the next email.