What is Networking Up?
“Networking Up” is about making sure that some of the connections formed when we network are with people who are more successful than us. They might be more successful in many ways; some examples are their experience or skills. Or they may have a larger or stronger personal or professional network than you.
Why Network Up?
Building relationships with people who are more successful than us can bring us more opportunities for success. When we introduce members of our chapter to connections who are more successful, we can increase our own credibility. Can you think of an example where a mentor with more skills has helped you?
Why doesn’t it always feel natural to Network Up?
It’s much more comfortable to network with people like ourselves, peers or people we perceive as perhaps less successful or less capable. It takes a deliberate decision to get out of our comfort zone and meet people who we hold in high regard or perceive as more successful than us in some way.
However, if we only network with people who are the same, similar or less successful, our networks can weaken over time. When considering new applicants for our BNI chapter we should always think about how successful they are. Will they be able to help us to Network Up?
Where can we find successful people?
Counter-Intuitively, it’s often where people go to help others… like not-for-profit organisations, sporting organisations, Rotary or Lions clubs or your local Chamber of Commerce. Often successful people are really motivated and therefore more able to help others by joining such organisations.
Consider your own network…
Are you regularly pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and engaging with people who are more successful than you are? Why not make a conscious effort to try it more often and see how you get on?