We know more than we think
When I’m speaking or coaching on the art and science of networking, people seem incredulous that a stranger would want to talk to them. The common view of networking is asking a friend what they know about job opportunities. True networking is believing you have something important to say in your field and finding the right opportunity to execute the conversation. Easier said than done, but it begins with believing in yourself—and doing deep research into the important issues of your work. When you own that new knowledge, you’ll be confident about sharing it.
June 10, 2015 Journal Entry
Sitting with Mom again. I think about how I’m anxious before walking into the room. Last week my wife, Leslie and I started crying when we saw her looking so old and helpless. Before entering the room of a dying Mom, it’s impossible to know what you’re going to see—or what emotions are going to rise up.
Now, as I sit with my Mom while she sleeps, I feel guilty and a less than loving son. I’m remembering the times I’d tell people that my Mom was not that smart. I acknowledged that she had good practical sense and could light up a room with her charm and beauty. But I rarely respected her mind.
Then I recall how later in life, I heard her say, “I like what I know.” The comment caught me by surprise as I reflected on its truth. Our talents are usually the intersection of our interests and our abilities or knowledge. It’s what we do best. It’s why we get hired to do a specific job.” Our passion for work starts with liking what we know.
So my Mom does have things to teach me—even now. She also had this wonderful, respectful way of letting you know when she was ready to end a conversation. She would say, “I guess that’s all I know.” On a deeper level, it also says to me that we each have limits to our knowledge and expertise—and need to know when to just listen. Asking questions should take over for making pronouncements; usually resulting in a more impressed partner in networking, interviewing or conversation.
Where does interest, ability and knowledge come together for you?……..and how can this be shaped into an observation or question which someone in your field would like to discuss?
How can I get by the myth that no one wants to meet with me to discuss important happenings in my field? What new research might I do to gain some important knowledge or insights?
Think of a time when I talked too much in a conversation and the result was not what I wanted it to be. How will I change this behavior in the future?