I recently saw a post that caused me to have an ‘aha!’ moment. It used the terms ‘networking’ and ‘relationships’ as though they were the same thing. They are not!
Networking is useful to get to know who’s who and what they do…at a surface level. It meets a functional need: finding people about whom you think “we could do business.”
Contrast this with how it feels when you experience a ‘connection’ with someone. For me, a connection satisfies something in me on an emotional level. I feel like we ‘get’ each other. And a connection is the beginning point for a relationship.
See the difference?
Of course, the opportunity to connect with someone must start with some kind of opportunity to meet, and networking is indeed one way to engineer that. Where networking can fall short is that it is very hard to get past the surface into something that allows for genuine connection.