Organic Networking: Here is how to do it without trying
It is true what they say: when it comes to advancing in any industry, who you know is just as important as your skills and experiences.
Briefly, networking is the act of establishing connections with others to form mutually beneficial relationships. It’s about actively seeking opportunities and solutions. Inarguably, the more people you know, the more opportunities will come your way.
With the development of tools like Linkedin, modern practices, methods, and fruitful networking approaches have also transformed. While there are more ways than ever to network professionally, finding routes that prove rewarding without becoming time-consuming or emotionally draining remains a challenge.
Organic Networking Explained
The solution, according to many business experts, is organic networking. In place of traditional efforts, which place extreme social pressure on the professional, organic networking is about selectively and naturally creating genuine connections.
It places people on the forefront as individuals, humanizes the interactions, and ditches the agenda-heavy, formal approach, that modern-day professionals have come to resent.
See Opportunities Everywhere
Many feel pressured to attend networking events or conferences to create beneficial business relationships. Outside of being socially strenuous, these events tend to be jam-packed with individuals looking to capitalize on the talents of others with little thought to how they can serve as a resource.
Instead, organic networking prioritizes optimizing your current interactions rather than painstakingly seeking out formal networking opportunities. It gives power to your natural connections and is more relaxed, effortless, and rewarding than traditional methods.
In practice, it can be as small as starting a conversation with an acquaintance or initiating an interaction at the coffee shop. It may also come in the form of reaching out to former colleagues or staying in touch with friends from college. Even if these interactions don’t end in real business advancements, they’ll likely enrich your day-to-day life.
Balance the Conversation
Like a tennis match, any conversation should volley equally between the two participants. When entering the interactions, focus on staying genuinely curious about the other person. If your goal is to actively learn more about them, rather than discover how they might serve as a resource for you, then the relationship-building aspect will take care of itself.
Choose also to actively listen during all conversations—not just those which take place with a fellow professional. Eventually, impactful organic networking is less about volume and more about value. This practice can start as simple as remembering your barista’s name or asking your mail carrier how the family is. In acknowledging and recalling, you optimize the effects of even brief interaction, creating more organic enriched connections in both your personal and professional life.
Be Genuinely Helpful
When it comes to organic networking, attitude is everything. While traditional networking methods are self-driven, organic networking prioritizes the professional as an individual. Instead of starting an interaction by internally asking, “What can this person do for me?”, the successful organic networker asks, “How might I serve as a valuable resource for this person?”
This minor adjustment in mentality eliminates the pressure from networking interactions. It frees the engagement from the preoccupation of trying to win the communication and the stress of “selling” oneself. When you prioritize how you can be of service or value, relationships become effortless and genuine.
As a benefit, those who you have helped will instinctively seek ways to return the favor. In this way, an initial gesture of assistance sets the tone for a mutually beneficial relationship, and by valuing other individuals as mentioned, you’ll unintentionally create organic, genuine, and helpful connections.
By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano
President and CEO of Barbachano International (BIP),
The Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA, offering high-impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement.
About Barbachano International
Barbachano International (BIP) is the premier executive search and leadership advisory firm in the Americas (USA, Mexico, Latin America, & Canada) with a focus on diversity and multicultural target markets. Outplacement and Executive Coaching services are provided by our sister allied company Challenger Gray & Christmas. Since 1992, BIP and its affiliates have impacted the profitability of over 50% of Fortune 500 Companies. BIP has been recognized by Forbes as Americas’ Best Executive Search Firms and currently ranks #27 and #3 on the West Coast. Headquartered in San Diego, California with satellite offices in Florida and Mexico. As member-owners of NPAworldwide Recruitment Network, we are supported by partner offices in over 50 countries.