The Challenge of Networking: Maintaining the Relationship

Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

Meeting people is one thing.  Maintaining the relationship in a way that allows you to leverage it in the future is something completely different.   And for me, something completely more challenging.  I will be the first to admit – I am no good at relationships.

As an introvert, I would rather be alone than reach out to someone in vain.  To add to that I have a problem with wasting people’s time.  Probably because I cannot stand to have mine wasted.

Theoretically, every relationship should create synergies.  Otherwise, what would be the point of the association?  And creating synergies implies that all parties bring something to the table that will result in some sort of improvement – something bigger, more productive, something more effective, more successful, maybe even something that wasn’t there before.

The situation should always be win/win. For me it is highly important to be useful to the other person, so they don’t feel used.  Remember, I want to be famous for making people happy?  It is hard for me to reach out to the same person again and again, because it implies that I want something from them.  Of course, that is usually the case, otherwise I wouldn’t bother them.  I think I would feel even more uncomfortable, if I was bothering them for no real reason at all.  On the other hand, that makes it seem that it is all about me.  Trust me, I really do want it to be a two-way street.  Unfortunately, in my current position I am not a whole lot of useful to anyone.

It is no secret that I have been courting our Product Management world for several months now.   So of course, I have met many wonderful people that I want to stay in touch with, and not only because they may have a say in a certain decision.  I really do wish I had richer, more rewarding relationships with them, but I feel I have nothing to offer in return for their advice and support.  Or maybe it just takes time to really show and to really see…

Am I overthinking this?  Shouldn’t authentic relationships be easy?

How do you maintain networking relationships?  What are some of the ways that you make sure that people in your network see your true intentions?

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