Qualifying your Network

Following our Lessons In Leadership Making the BIG SHIFT workshop a month ago, one of the participants told me/asked me the following.

"I know how to grow my network. What I need to know is how to qualify the people I meet so that I'm growing it in the right way."

This is a great question. Let's use the Circle of Impact guides (free download) for this purpose.Circle of Impact - Life-Work image

The Circle of Impact is built around three dimensions - Ideas, Relationships and Social & Organizational Structures.

Simply put, everyone has ideas, relationships and lives and works within specific social and organizational structures. This is true of everyone.

The focus of each of these dimensions is Impact creation.

Simply put, we all use our ideas and our relationships within our social and organizational structures to make a difference, to create change.

The question we must ask ourselves is whether those changes matter.

Simply put, the qualifying question that we need to ask is

Does the potential impact of this person's ideas, relationships and their social and organizational structures matter?

The only way to know is learn to ask questions that reveal the answer.

This where the Circle of Impact Connecting Ideas come in.

A starting point for qualifying someone is learning about their purpose, their values and their vision for impact. If these ideas are not clear or not well developed, then it tells you something about them.

Of course, anyone well versed in networking practice has learned to have their little spiel prepared to answer these kinds of questions.

What matters is not having an answer to what is your purpose, values and vision, but rather demonstrating how those ideas matter in action in your relationships and your activities in the social and organizational structures of your life and work.

See how this Circle is completed.

The most important aspect of discovering how to qualify your network is becoming a person who matters. In so doing, you learn to discern substance from superficiality.

Was it Gandhi who said, "Be the change you want to be.

It applies here.

Be the person of impact who creates the difference that matters and you'll find the people of like purpose, vision, values and impact.

Remember: It is better to have a small and impact qualified network than a larger network that is as thin on impact as a business card.