I had a dream recently and as convoluted as dreams often are, I awoke not remembering the beginning of the dream. All I remembered was that my friend, Bob, didn’t at least allow me the opportunity to help him in a time of need.
In the dream, his car broke down the day before. He had to walk a great distance and somehow I found out about it after the fact. Bob was a little depressed and looked like he needed a hug. I remember having a conversation with him that went something like this:
Larry: Bob, why didn’t you give me a call. I would have been happy to give you a ride.
Bob: I know you are very busy and I didn’t want to be burden.
Larry: But, Bob, that’s what friends are for. They make time for a friend in need.
Bob: Yeah, but I just figured you would be busy and besides I needed the exercise.
Larry: I’m disappointed that you didn’t at least give me a chance to offer you a ride. Promise you will call me in the future?
Bob: Okay! Will do!
My friend Bob lives in Las Vegas. In truth, I would not have been able to give him a ride, however it didn’t appear that way in the dream. I called Bob today to make sure he was okay and told him about my dream. (Sidebar: He’s okay! We had a laugh about the dream and he closed by saying, “If I ever need a ride, I’ll call you.” – From Las Vegas… I don’t think so!) 😉
While that dream had nothing to do with business networking, I was disturbed by it and woke up wondering how many other times our friends don’t call when they need something because they think they don’t want to bother us or that we might be too busy to talk?
The friends we make with the relationships we develop while networking are part of our support system. They need for us to tell them that if they ever need “anything” – a ride to work, a great restaurant referral, business advice, just need someone to talk to… whatever! – that they should call. If you are too busy to talk at the moment you can promise them you will return the call. Or, if you can’t help them, do your best to refer them to someone who can.
Remember, in networking you are usually only a few people away from someone who can help you with whatever you need.
AND… you have to ask for what you want!
If you are a real networker, you know that your primary focus should be to be of service to others. Are you sending that message to the people in your network?
Perhaps it’s time to place more emphasis on becoming closer friends with the people we network with. Make some breakfast or lunch appointments this week to get to know those people in your network that you might like to get to know better. Start with the ones you think you might be able to help.
Sometimes it’s a great idea for your networking group to target one member and focus the groups energy on helping that member for a week. The next week choose another member.
I don’t know about you but I always do my best to “make time” for my friends. That’s what friends are for.
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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