A mentor once told me, “To build influence, model the behavior you want returned, but without expecting it will be.” These were very wise words as we were discussing the challenges pertaining to the supervision of employees – if I want them to be open to feedback, I should be open to receiving their feedback; if I want to be heard, I need to listen to others; and so on. The other day I was reminded of this adage when discussing networking.
If you would like to receive help from others, one must be willing to help as well. But if someone is in the job hunt, how can he/she assist others?
- Many alumni reach out to their local alumni club asking for help (referrals, resources, etc.). It would be a wise move to offer to help with an upcoming club event. Club members are more willing to assist those who give back, who show an interest in the club, and furthermore, by working the event you will meet even more possible networking contacts.
- When reaching out to potential contacts to ask for a meeting or assistance, it is recommended to reciprocate – “If I can be of assistance to you, I would be happy to assist.” Individuals look more favorably on a request if they know the other person understands that networking is a two-way street.
- As one searches for jobs, many times she will come across job leads that are not an appropriate fit for her…instead of stopping the process, why not share the job lead with others. When one can help a recruiter locate talent for job openings, that recruiter is more likely to try to assist the helpful job hunter.
- Share your advice, success strategies, and contacts with others in the job hunt. By helping others who are in the same situation by providing a referral to a contact, advice on good sites or job search strategies, you are modeling behavior you would like reciprocated.
A good adage to remember, model the behavior you want returned, but without expecting it will be. Works for supervising employees, parenting and most any aspect of life.