Networking vs Connecting

A few months ago I stumbled upon this article about ‘why networking is dead‘. The article goes on to explain that networking is often about superficial meet and greets, where people collect business cards as if they were “likes” or “follows” on social media, only for personal gain. The author then describes a super connector.

Instead of meeting people in small doses to use them later, a super connector enjoys getting to know people. I see a super connector as someone who, once they get to know you, is able to introduce you to other people who have similar interests or who work in your field or who you might like to collaborate with in the future.  The way the article describes them, I see networkers as people out for themselves, using individuals as a rung on their personal ladder up.

When I first read this article, I made note of it with just one comment: Maybe this is why I never liked “networking”.

I just found this note, reread the article, and am reflecting on some recent interactions I’ve had.  I went on a two day business trip with a group of leaders from other school districts.  I didn’t know most of the people before our trip, but we spent two days, 3 meals, and 2 plane trips together.  This could have been forced networking. But what it actually turned out to be was an opportunity to connect with a few individuals over our work, our shared passions, and some personal interests. While I have always disliked walking into a room full of strangers feeling like I’m supposed to “network,” I enjoyed this experience much more. I appreciate the human, individual connections more than getting a business card.

What are your thoughts about networking, connections, or the article linked above?

It’s ironic that after this experience, I also attended the AASA National Conference, where my biggest takeaway was the importance of connections!

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Did you know that I wrote a book?  The Coach ADVenture: Building Powerful Instructional Skills That Impact Learning is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I love interacting with readers via Twitter and my hashtag #CoachADV.

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About Amy's Reflections

Director of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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