We live in a world full of people; we interact with people at every stage and point in our life journey. We are always in a shoulder rubbing spree whether in our homes, public places, workplaces or our businesses. These days, the game of rubbing shoulders has gone a notch higher – electronic. We meet and interact with thousands of people online through the various social media platforms at our disposal. Some of the people we interact with do add joy into our lives while others come loaded with feelings about which there is nothing joyous to write home. Every adversity we have gone and will go through is attributable to people. However, I should be quick to add that much as people have a role in every problem that we undergo, solutions to these problems still emanate from people.
The component of people is one that we cannot do away with, however much we wished so. We cannot be left here alone; we won’t make it; if anything, we are part of the people fraternity. It therefore becomes apparent that we should become deliberate in managing our relationships with people at all points of interaction. We should acknowledge the fact that every success story has characters who are people. Some will inspire us while others will strengthen us by affirming, rebuking and constructive or destructive criticism. We just need to consciously face people with an open mind and tap into the positives that they have to offer. In many ways than one, we will need to work with others; one is too small a number to make a difference.
How conscious are you in building networks? Could it be that you prefer being alone, wanting to stay in your ‘me’ zone 24/7? Do you blame your career or someone else for not allowing you the chance to socialize? Have you justified your aloneness using your personality type? Have you ignored people especially ‘small’ on the account of the question, ‘how can s/he help me’? When last did you say hi to your gateman? To your domestic manager aka house help? How about your juniors and subordinates? How many times have you snubbed that cleaner? And the tea girl? How many times have you hurled insults at or ignored the numerous parking boys on our streets? Do these people matter anyway? Do you even believe they can be a valuable part of your network?
I haven’t found powerful words to help me put across the fact that networks are powerful. In life, one performs as much as s/he relates. If you think that you have succeeded alone (which is not possible) you haven’t seen your full potential yet. We were all created to solve a problem in this world; a problem which resides in people. People form the stepping stones to the heights we wish to scale in life. One of the biggest differences between those who make it big in life and the rest is the former’s ability to consciously relate well with people at all levels of their life journey.
Networking doesn’t just mean connecting with the ‘big’ people you think have potential to help you grow at the workplace or win that tender. You need to connect with people above you who will inspire you upwards, those in the same level with whom you will compare notes and those below you who look up to you for inspiration in whichever form. Networking is about consciously managing your relationships with others. Many people have gotten help from unfamiliar sources, help that sprung them to higher levels.
You ignore the gateman yet when your car fails to start, you want to start a conversation to the effect of him helping you to push it! When he humbly requested you to buy him a cup of tea from the local tea vendor while referring to you with expensive titles like ‘boss’, didn’t you remind him how he earns a salary of his own and should manage his life? Many have ignored the parking boys only to attempt to strike a conversation when the expensive side mirror is gone! You ignore the tea girl and the house help yet they have your life in their hands. They cook you good food to enable you have the health much needed to run your business or scale the heights of corporate management. Has it occurred to you that they can take your life (God forbid) in a blink of an eye? But they haven’t done so. Please be good to them.
As you relate, so you live. People need you and you need them. God did not create loners, but people with capacity to relate with others; no wonder our various faculties! I beseech you to be conscious with the way you relate with people. Whatever happens in this life can be summarized into one word – relationships. Do good to others even as you profit and learn from others. Grow your network; those who came before us asserted that your network is your net worth. You need social capital to scale the heights of fulfillment; your business needs customers, suppliers and the government and so on; your employment needs colleagues both junior and senior, the tea girl, the cleaner and even the guard. Be friendly to them, you never know when and where next you will meet them. Relate well, live well, for with relationships, YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Motivational Speaker and Author.