7 lessons about networking I learned from a 15 year reunion at IIM-A

The human brain is a network of neurons. A single neuron by itself can achieve very little. But the moment it connects with some others, something amazing begins to happen. We called it ‘intelligence’!

Just extend that logic to human beings. One human can only achieve so much. But the moment I am coennected to a few more people, so many things are just a phone call away. Leaders need to be great a connecting with people and creating their networks.

Here are some lessons I learned about connecting with people at the 15th-year reunion of our batch at IIM Ahmedabad:

1. Don’t judge people. Many of my good friends are people who I never once spoke to during the two years we studied together. We connected only after passing out.

2. Have one to one conversations. Don’t just be in a group. Just reach out and say hi. Be yourself. Tell them your story. People open up if you open up.

3. Don’t underestimate yourself. People don’t know what you have done and who you are. When you are shy, they will never have the opportunity to know you.

4. Find a project to work on together. Even something as simple as moving some chairs around or creating a playlist for the party; doing something together is the best way to connect with people.

5. Don’t assume what they are thinking. No one is thinking about you. In fact, they are wondering what you are thinking about them. Ask them what is on their mind these days.

6. People want to do good. Find out what good they are already doing, and what good they want to do. We underestimate how much good there is in the world.

7. Learn. Everyone has something to teach. Ask them. And then, listen. Everyone loves to give some ‘gyaan'!

Happy networking!