We have learned the art of networking over thousands of years. It is what we automatically do when we are allowed to. We are social beings and professionals in building and maintaining relationships. But our upbringing, education and culture distort our natural talent. A child approaches strangers without fear, opens up quickly, instinctively maintains relationships with people that are good for him or her and cuts off contacts that feel bad.
As we grow up we are then trained to be too open, we learn that it is rude to approach strangers and just pretend to be who you are. Instead, we are trained to be nice to people we don’t like, to pay attention to social status and to focus our relationship “work” on rational advantage.
In the end we are crippled and disoriented. As a helpless reaction, we then try to imitate people we have chosen as role models because they are obviously super effective at making relationships.
But it is something completely different that we have to learn. Something that the Senseis of Japanese martial arts teach their students: To regain the pure spirit of the child after learning the technique, free from fear, prejudice, greed and judgement.