How My Children Taught Me a Lesson in Networking

140 reads

It’s important to connect and engage with your network via the social media platforms “they” use more than the one’s “you” use.   I learned this lesson in a very unusual way.

A few years ago, my children all moved out and were on their own.  It soon struck me that I was communicating regularly with them using completely different methods.  My eldest, would not respond to emails – ever.  She wouldn’t even answer the phone when I called her.  I discovered however that when I texted her, she responded immediately.  I even tested this once by calling her… no answer.  Then I texted her… immediate response.  So, rather than try to get her to move over to my preferred platform, I figured that in order to keep a good line of communication open with her – I would mostly text her.  It was great.  We started talking more (albeit by text).

My second daughter wouldn’t use email, didn’t use the phone (to talk), and wouldn’t consider texting (it was so old school).   No, she communicated by “WhatsApp!”  Now, I had no idea how to use WhatsApp  (I barely know how now).  However, my wife pointed out that if I wanted to keep a line of communication open with her – I needed to download WhatsApp.  I did.  I still have no idea how to use it other than send a text to my daughter whereby she almost immediately responds. 

My son didn’t use email, didn’t use the phone (to talk), wouldn’t consider texting, and didn’t use WhatsApp!  What was I to do?  Then, I realized that he is a big online gamer and he was using a platform called Steam.  I also discovered that Steam had an instant messaging feature.  So, I downloaded Steam and purchased a game so that I could instant message him.  Yes, that’s right, I bought a game so I could talk to my son.  As crazy as it sounds – it worked.  If I called, emailed, messaged him on any social media platform – I’d get no response.  None.  However, if I saw him online and texted him – I’d get an instantaneous response!  Success.

The bottom line is that if I wanted to communicate with my children, I needed to use their platforms, not mine.  Although their platforms have changed over time, this, taught me a lesson in networking.  If I want to stay connected to the people I meet through my networking efforts, I need to go where they are – not where I am.

This applies to face-to-face networking opportunities as well as online opportunities.  If building a powerful personal network is important to you – go where your connections are – don’t expect them to always come to you.

Called the “father of modern networking” by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author.  He is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI (www.bni.com), the world’s largest business networking organization.  

 

Trending

53
jackcanfield's picture

How to Lead a Successful Training Workshop

If you want to become a successful thought leader, author, speaker, or simply share your message with the world, you must understand how to lead a successful training workshop. I am going to share with you my very own process – what we call The
206
Ron Kaufman's picture

Why Business Leaders Must Attend Service Training

The most common question we hear when launching service excellence training programs inside large organizations is: “Do leaders really need to attend these workshops?” This raises a different and more important question for senior leaders: Do you
214
richardbranson's picture

Here’s How to Overcome Embarrassment and Improve Your Self-Confidence

The Fear of Embarrassment IQ Matrix will help you to take control and eventually overcome the feelings of embarrassment you may experience in awkward situations. The article explores what it means to be embarrassed; highlights causes of
324
jackcanfield's picture

How to Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever

Regardless of how you ring in the New Year (with lively parties and fireworks or cozy celebrations at home), there is a recurring theme at every New Year’s celebration: to the make this year the best year ever. “If you get clear on the what, the how
315
davecrenshaw's picture

Should you trust your customers?

If you trust your customer to pay you back, will you receive their loyalty plus interest? Well, that’s what I did. No, I didn’t take out a loan or buy a car. I was just getting some chicken. Popeyes fried chicken to be exact. No, this isn’t paid
161
johnsullivan's picture

Simplify Your Social Media Recruitment By Building Your Own Chatbot

Today, human resource staff focus more on strategizing and satisfying employees’ needs than on administration and recruiting, which were the cornerstones of HR work in a previous era. HR professionals are taking on a much more meaningful role in
212
Johngreathouse's picture

10 Step Checklist To Rank Your Startup Ideas

A version of this article first appeared in Forbes. Steven Johnson, author of How We Got To Now, analyzes technological breakthroughs, looking for patterns that allow entrepreneurs to identify “How We’ll Get To Tomorrow.” One of the key myths
157
sethgodin's picture

What do you see?

A better question might be, "what do you choose to see?" If I take four professionals to the Whitney: The architect sees the building, the sight lines, the way the people and the light flow. The framer notices the craftsmanship...   
165
ramanujamsridhar's picture

What an Idea, Sirji!

It is very difficult to build a brand property which could be a campaign idea, a tune or a tag lineI have an unreasonable liking for Idea, the mobile services brand. And this proclivity has to be understood slightly differently. I used to head the

Pages