Most people have a set of values they live by. Whether those values are innate or learned can vary. Whether they are conscious values or not can also vary. While it is widely known that people use their opinions to sway others it is less known that we often try to impart our values on each other.
So what do values and networking have to do with one another? Generally speaking networkers are drawn together because of a common purpose – maybe the need for new business. But I have noticed over the years that professionals of like minded values tend to gravitate toward each other in networking scenarios.
One way to leverage my theory is to understand your own values in the first place. And then instead of trying to make others share in your beliefs find professionals that already play the game the same way you do. So if I believe in timeliness as a value it probably makes little sense for me to network with people that are consistently late. Most likely it would only led to frustration and therefore a lack of trust.
What I am not suggesting is a lack of diversity in your networking efforts. Only that you find common ground with others. This should lead to less stress in the relationship and better connections.
So, what values do you live by?