Networking for Nerds
by Ben Reinhardt
I highly suggest consuming the full piece here (8 min. read time)
“How do some people seem to wind up with advocates everywhere? They create a little mental model of themselves that makes it easy for everybody they meet. Everybody has a ‘projection’ – a small representation – of each person they know living in their heads.” — Ben Reinhardt
Be memorable: “In order to maximize the effectiveness of your projections, figure out which things you want to be associated within people’s heads and be excited about them. Nothing is more memorable than distinct excitement. Similarly, try to figure out the things that drive whomever you’re talking to and incorporate them into your mental representation of that person. The best way to encourage people to keep you in mind is to keep them in mind.” — Ben Reinhardt
Making asks: “…is often uncomfortable for smart successful people – you want to get by on your own and be so awesome that people will figure out how to help you on your own. This is not going to happen. On the other hand, if you have a clear actionable ask, people are eager to jump on it.” — Ben Reinhardt
Make meetings great before they even start: “Since relationships are built through 1-1 interactions, you can’t build meaningful relationships without 1-1 meetings.
- Say what you want to talk about during the meeting in the email. It makes it easy for them to say yes and it gives you both a little reminder when you go back and check the email right before the meeting.
- Anchor the conversation with 2-3 options around both time and place.
- [Send a] calendar Invite. Busy folks live by their calendars, so make it easy for them to remember the meeting – where/when it’s happening, who it’s with, and possibly what it’s about.” — Ben Reinhardt
My two cents: Networking can oftentimes be pretty uncomfortable. For whatever reason, it’s always felt artificial and transactional. I’m not entirely sure why I view it this way, but it’s one of those things that I know I can’t pessimistically view forever. As with most things, there are spectrums and framings that level out reasonings for things. I need to reframe my views around networking or forever feel stuck on the sidelines. Be on the lookout for more networking curations and feel free to share any valuable ones to our subreddit here.
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