Social Capitalist Heidi Roizen is known as Silicon Valley’s most legendary networker, but she had to build those relationships from the ground up just like anyone else. In this week’s tip she shares advice about finding and creating the currency you can offer to build a generosity-based relationship with anyone.
“I do think there’s something truthful in asking the questions of any relationship you build, what do you bring to the table for that other person? What is the context of the relationship? What can you offer? Everyone has something to offer, but I think that people don’t realize it, particularly those who are just starting out.
Let’s take a situation where you want to get to know someone in your community who runs a company. Maybe you can’t do something directly for them, but maybe they’re involved in a charitable organization and you can go volunteer, work to death, and help with membership. You can go and do something. And eventually, as I find in many charitable organizations, it’s pretty easy to work your way up the ranks, if you devote some time and energy to doing it. And eventually, you will end up in a circle with that person or have an opportunity to talk to them.
Now that might be a very methodical way to get to one person, and I don’t know if that’s necessarily a great thing to do, but it is a tactic. Again, think, What do I have to give? What can I do to create value with that person? What can we work on together? Your relationships are not always built in the business context. They may be built in a community context or in a context related to other social activities.”