With the functional network, it is above all expertise and leadership quality that gives someone the ability to build and use contacts permanently and to position themselves at the centre of a network. One has resources that are important to others.
The emotional network is created through authenticity and caring. You can’t create it, however, because it depends primarily on a person’s personality. Both together in the right measure make someone interesting and important.
Prof. Jo Groebel (media psychologist, in an interview with Alexander S. Wolf)
The most important step is first to change our inner attitude. Maybe it seems a bit exaggerated to you to see yourself as a professional dictyonomist and the image of yourself as the “centre of a network” might seem a bit too spectacular. Who are we to go around telling our friends and acquaintances, “Welcome to my club!” Maybe it helps you to see yourself as a delegate in your own cause, a delegate of your family and circle of friends. Wouldn’t it help those around you if you were all better connected, making it easier for you to help each other fulfil the dreams of your loved ones? Just imagine that you and the people you like and appreciate are a tribe that helps each other in the big city. You are the deputy of this tribe and make things run better. Because if you don’t, who will? Realise that there are no real professionals in this discipline! I did not choose politics as an example by chance: When it comes to building networks of relationships and in politics, everyone is a beginner to begin with. Angela Merkel is a physicist, Ronald Reagan was an actor, Joschka Fischer was a taxi driver. You differ from an experienced, well-connected industrial lobbyist in only one thing: unlike you, he is firmly convinced that he is a professional networker. Because you believe him, you pay him for it.
“How do I activate and expand my network?”
However, you would be ill-advised to look for service providers to do the job of cultivating relationships for you. No one but you can build your network for you. So you should start now by investing a few thoughts every day in nurturing your relationships and realising for yourself that you are the control centre of an already existing community that only needs to be activated and expanded. You will now learn how to do this.
A well-connected person knows the right person to contact when they have a problem – or when part of their network has a problem. Well-networked people are thus often also a kind of telephone book. Everyone knows such people – if you are looking for an expert and don’t know anyone, you call someone. And that someone in turn knows an expert. THAT is the characteristic of a well-connected person. By mediating between parts of his network, he becomes the control centre in his little world. He thus expands his network more and more, intensifies the contacts – but at the same time spends a very large part of his time just maintaining contacts. Because the amount from short phone calls does add up at some point.
Sebastian Nerz (Federal Chairman of the Pirate Party, in an interview with Alexander S. Wolf)