Steps to Networking – Step 5: Relationships

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 1st, 2010

Rules of the road

Like most disciplines, networking has basic fundamentals that must be fully understood before proceeding further. Although these elements may seem self evident, think about them and don’t take them lightly, because they form the building blocks upon which successful networks must be built. Examine how each of these basic rules applies to you, your methods and experiences. Identify how others use them to successfully network and ask yourself if their approaches would work for you? Note all of the areas in which you may be deficient and list steps you can take for improvement.

STEP 5: Relationships

Networking is the art of making connections that blossom into strong, mutually beneficial relationships. Although relationships begin with introductions, they hinge on the quality of the connections that are forged. When connections are weak or matches are incompatible, productive networking relationships cannot be built. However, when connections bond, strong relationships can emerge. Bonding and sharing make relationships work.

When we decided to write this book, we seriously considered calling it Connections because connecting or bringing people together for the purpose of building relationships is the essential link needed to successfully network. To make a good connection requires more than a mere introduction; it requires the introducer to think, search, investigate or conduct research into which matches will result in strong, mutually beneficial relationships.

• Without introductions, matches cannot be made
• Without matches, connections cannot be created
• Without connections, bonds cannot form
• Without bonding, relationships cannot be built and
• Without reciprocal relationships, networks cannot last.

Ideally, the network connections you form will develop into long, fruitful relationships.

Building relationships is the networker’s primary objective. Short-term goals such as finding a job, a babysitter or a good sushi bar are secondary goals. Forging strong relationships should be your top priority because they last long after the job, the sitter or hamachi is gone. And network relationships can continually help you find better jobs, more reliable sitters and fresher, more delicious fish.

Answer the following questions:

Are you a good connector? _______________________________________
If not, why? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Do your connections develop into strong relationships? ____________________
If not, why? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Do you know good relationship builders? ________________________________

What can you learn from each good relationship builder? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What steps can you take build better relationships?


Legendary chef Alice Waters, founder of the four-star restaurant, Chez Panise, is an acknowledged international culinary authority. Waters has trained, worked with and developed close ties to many of the worlds’ great chefs. As a result, her Paris list, has become the food insiders’ travel bible. Waters’ list includes not only her favorite Parisian eateries, places most of us would never discover, but also contains her tips about shops, markets, and other mouth-watering attractions. Her list has been built on the recommendations Waters has received from her network, which is made up of many of the world’s most acclaimed chefs, restaurateurs, food critics, teachers, writers and gourmets. Because of her stature in culinary circles and the extraordinary quality of her network, Waters’ list is sought after treasure.

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

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