Make The Connection

It’s one thing to work a room full of strangers and come away with a bunch of business cards and no real connections. It’s another thing entirely to develop meaningful relationships, both with professionals you know and those with whom you want to become familiar. The latter is the focus in Networlding: Building Relationships and Opportunities for Success, a book by Melissa Giovagnoli and Jocelyn Carter-Miller.

“Networlding is opportunity-expansive, whereas networking is opportunity-specific,” write Giovagnoli and Carter-Miller. Networlding can be distinguished from the sometimes one-sided nature of plain old networking because it “is a purposeful process of collaboration that not only achieves mutual goals but also leads to professional and personal fulfillment,” write the authors.

In another departure from the typical notions of networking, they suggest that the vast majority of networking time-80% or so-should actually be spent nurturing the relationships you already have with those in your primary circle of influence. “Limit yourself to no more than 10 people,” they advise. The other 20% of your time should center around developing less important professional ties.

The book is primarily centered around seven rules, including establishing a values-rich foundation, expanding your circles, co-creating opportunities, and re-creating your networld. More than 202 pages-devoid of worksheets or additional resources, short of a one-page quiz and “exchange summary” log-the authors detail the basis for these rules and ways to pull them all together to form more purposeful associations.

While the information presented in Networlding is good, more hands-on worksheets and the like would have made this text-heavy book even more readable. Still, your network may be strengthened by picking up this book.

Networlding: Building Relationships and Opportunities for Success by Melissa Giovagnoli and Jocelyn Carter-Miller (Jossey-Bass, $25)

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