Becoming a SuperConnector: Learning the art of going beyond Networking, to developing Relationships

It is good to utilize your passion in your professional journey, but it’s even better to drive it in a way that it broadens your knowledge, nurtures your professional relations and increases job satisfaction. After all, your relationships come to the rescue when you are going through a 9 to 5 stretch.Nidhi Singh Saini, Head – Employer Relations, FIIB.

Be it executives, professionals,  or MBA students, people have their own reasons to rationalize how uncomfortable they feel while reaching out to people and building connections.. ‘Networking is not my cup of tea!’ is a typical phrase that most people use, often not realizing that they may have missed out on opening the doors to some golden opportunities. “On the contrary, I’ve also seen examples where even extroverts find it difficult to make use of their network to leverage their capacity, status and authority. And, this is what happens when people focus on networking and not on relationship building.”

Networking is 9 to 5; relationships are forever

There’s a big difference between networking with people and creating connections based on shared interests and goals. You initiated a conversation with someone by shaking hands and ended with slipping in a business card – where does that leave you? One more entry into the “stack of business cards” on somebody’s desk! On the other hand, sharing little secrets of success and creating a mutual understanding of growth will help you to connect on a personal level and give a clear idea to them of the values you hold and can bring to a potential relationship. 

As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” You can also take this into action by harnessing the power of building relationships. It is win-win relationships that create everlasting partnerships and not just business connections.

“There’s a lot of power in professional connections, you just need to understand what’s the right time to leap beyond networking and embrace the relationship.”

Collaboration is the key to overcome competition 

Professionals who believe in collaboration are the ones who reap better opportunities in, and even outside, the jobs they’re in. If you’re good at building strong relationships not only with your colleagues but also the ones who you network with, then it triggers many useful connections and authentic opportunities your way. Sometimes, shared experiences also help you to move ahead in your professional aspirations. “I still remember being able to trigger one of the big four accounting firms on board at FIIB to conduct a recruiting session for our Finance (Analytics) batch students by leveraging my personal contacts.” 

Honestly, it is not easy to have a motivational focus and stay relevant to both the things – what your ‘love to do’ and what you ‘have to do’. But I think I have been able to master the art of engaging my passion with my work and it is helping me in getting better results out of my efforts now. “While getting all the students a corporate start that they desire is always a big challenge, but my natural passion for networking motivates me to interact and create meaningful relations with recruiters that triggers a win-win situation for all – me, my job, the students and the wider corporate community I’m a part of.” 
In sum, the mantra of “building relations and not just connections” has always kept me going and growing in my career, and probably should also help you cover your professional journey with ease – “When you have one life that’s interchangeable, often the relationships at work also become your relationships in life.”