The rules of networking are a lot like the rules we learned in kindergarten, high school or college: Behave yourself, give first, receive later, be prepared, ethics above all, influencers can make or break your experience, look at the person you’re talking to—not the person over their shoulder—and above all, keep your promises. There’s no surefire “we’ve got this in the bag” way to guarantee your networking efforts will pay off, but understanding these eight networking rules and why they work will help you create a network that truly works for you, not against you.
Do you remember that famous New Yorker cartoon where the dog is sitting at a computer and typing away on a chat forum? The caption says, “On the Internet no one knows you’re a dog.” The opposite is also true. On the Internet, that “LuvMyHog” guy in your business forum chat could just as well be the CEO of Harley Davidson Motorcycles as a pig farmer. You just don’t know. So treat everyone with patience, respect and tolerance.
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