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Fear of Networking

networking-teamwork-ronna-warshWe all know the value of building a network in our professional and personal lives. So, what holds us back from building our networks?

I find it puzzling, that some of my coaching clients feel so comfortable picking up the phone or emailing a new contact who can help them to advance on their journey. Others, almost freeze at the suggestion that they might consider reaching out to someone who they don’t know.

What is the “roadblock” that prevents someone from making a new contact? Most likely, it is fear of rejection. What if their “reach out” is ignored? What if the person says “no”? What if they do end up meeting the person, but don’t “click”?

When my coaching client begins to explore this fear of rejection, they soon realize that they have more to gain than they have to lose by trying to connect with someone new.

So what if they are rejected? They might feel bad for a day or two, and then they will let it go.  On the other hand, what if the person says “yes”, and a new world of possibilities opens up for them? Now, wouldn’t that be great!

I am an experienced leader. I also have had these same doubtful thoughts, as I reach out to someone I have never met. The whole “Linked In” platform is built on the premise that connections are key to success. Yes, sometimes I do not hear back. It stings for a short time, but I get over it – nothing a chai latte can’t cure!

More importantly, I have most often been met with a resounding positive response:  “Yes, I’d love to meet and talk about this with you.” The richness of these connections has led to a deepening of my understanding of the issue/s at hand, and often it has led to a new consulting job or coaching client.

We are all craving connection in this sometimes cruel and isolating world. Go ahead and make that call.  If it doesn’t work, try again….and again. And, if it does work, your confidence will receive a “boost” and you will be much richer for it and perhaps more successful.