Charlie Sheen Dale Carnegie was wrong. You don’t “win” friends. You don’t collect them like business cards.
Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin and celebrated tech investor, said as much in the February issue of Fortune, where he was promoting his new book. Turns out you make friends and allies by just being thoughtful and lending a hand. Who knew?
This excerpt featured some of his best advice on how to strengthen your network:
The best way to engage with new people is not by cold calling or by “networking” with strangers at cocktail parties, but by working with the people you already know. Of the many types of professional relationships, among the most important are your close allies. Most professionals maintain five to 10 active alliances. What makes a relationship an alliance? First, an ally is someone you consult regularly for advice. Second, you proactively share and collaborate on opportunities together. You keep your antennae attuned to an ally’s interests, and when it makes sense to pursue something jointly, you do. Third, you talk up an ally. You promote his or her brand. Finally, when an ally runs into conflict, you defend him and stand up for his reputation, and he does the same for you.
You can read the full article, which includes more of the science and psychology behind networking, here.