Nowadays, someone who is looking for an advice, a job or an experienced doctor, consults his/her friends and acquaintances. An important role, in practicing human social networking, plays the reputation we built as individuals and as members of different groups, but also in our entire professional and social circle, from where we can look for significant help or just simple information.
People who know us we know them, widely constitute our social network. So when we refer to human social networking, we literally mean: “Knowing the right person in the right place”.
Human social networking has been criticized and sometimes the term has been misinterpreted as something “bad” or not political correct as an activity. That is exactly why I must mention here that the term social networking in bibliography has no opportunistic meaning at all. On the contrary, it is related directly to giving and taking, to being useful to people as much as we can be useful to them as well.
Nowdays that social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin help even more in the creation of social networks, the process is more exciting, but not as exciting as the everyday human contact -given that no matter how much technology evolves, human relationships and trust are undoubtedly built through interpersonal contact and not only via computers.
I would say that a combination of those two can always be more efficient, considering that interpersonal connection, as well as, digital connection can work complementarily for the best result of the person, who is a social networker.
Let’s not forget that building a social network entails the ongoing building of mutual and beneficial relationships that begin long before we happen to need the help of the people in our network!
The basic principles of social networking are:
- Social networking does not have a beginning or an ending. It is a continuous process, which is cultivated gradually and in order for it to be characterized as “successful”, it should never pause.
- The process of social networking relates to authentic relationships between humans; to the building of mutually beneficial trust, as well as, to the fact that we can be useful to each other. It is what was successfully said by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the “Jerry Maguire” movie, “Help me, help you”!
- Our participation in different groups helps us build our own social network and give us at the same time the opportunity to meet people we would probably never meet under different circumstances.
- We can also volunteer in different groups that express our life goals. Having a common vision always helps people bond.
- When being in a group of people, where you want them to show they’re interested in you and you are also interested to be a part of the group, use open questions (questions that start with the words: who, what, when, how, opposed to questions that can be answered simply with a yes or no). Your purpose is to start a conversation and give to the other person the chance to express his/her views.
- When someone recommends you to his acquaintances, when you seek advice or you want to close a deal, it is important to act immediately because at the particular moment you not only represent yourself, but also the person who introduced you. Thank both sides for their time and their intention to help you. No one is obligated to do anything for us. It may sound harsh but it is important to be grateful and to appreciate the help given to us.
- Never communicate with someone if you are not clear about the reason you are approaching with him or about what you want from that person. When asking for something you must be precise and try to make your participant visualize what exactly you ask from him/her. If you can’t do it, they will not do it for you.
- Build your reputation so that your social circle can see you as a possible source for finding information. When others think of you as a reliable source to seek information, ideas, recommendations or even your opinion, it means that you are always on their mind and in a positive way.
- Furthermore, know that in the above process, it is not enough to just be yourself, as many people claim… the point is that you must …Be the Best of Yourself!