by KL Chin

Those who are truly masterful in any business have a network of contacts. They know how to connect with other people and share their power. This is a skill that can be learned. You can increase your people power by first understanding and realizing the following 12 people power principles and then putting them to work for you.


The "boomerang effect" of giving is the guarantee of success.  A boomerang always comes back because that is the design of the instrument.  In the same way, what you give always comes back in some form because that is the design of the law of giving.  However, the only way the boomerang can return is if someone first takes action and throws the boomerang.  Giving is a powerful way to activate your power, because human nature inherently provides the desire to respond in kind.  Get your "giving power" into action.  Pass along support and information to others.  Then all you have to do is watch for that boomerang and catch it on its return.


Make a powerful and mature shift from the mental state of "I can do this on my own" to "I honor the power and results that are accomplished from working effectively with others."  Expand your thinking beyond yourself - the "I can do it on my own" mentality limits your otreach and effectiveness as a business person.  Many of us need to retrain ourselves to think positively about interdependence.  Think of yourself as a multidimensional entity of resources and contacts.  Who you are consists of all of your life experiences and the people who influence you.  You are larger than what you see in the mirror. You are a culmination of connections that provide an unlimited source of knowledge and opportunities.


Praise calls attention to the good, the helpful, and the positive.  By praising yourself and others, you bring people to a higher level of energy and awareness.  Humans thrive on positive reinforcement. There are two ways to regularly acknowledge people in your business: speaking in person or over the phone and sending notes or emails.  Make sure you are giving and receiving positive feedback in your life on a daily basis.  Sprinkle the word "thanks" throughout your day. Tell people specifically how they influence your life in a positive way.  Handwritten notes convey the personal touch we often yearn for in our society - you'll brighten someone's day and maintain your own "attitude of gratitude."  My favorite story about sending notes is from someone who attended a musical performance and set the performer a one-word note:  "Stunning!"  That person's experience and appreciation was so eloquently and beautifully conveyed with that one word!


Everyone has a vast and powerful network of contacts.  However, for some people the connections have become weak and rusty from neglect.  Clean up those communication connections so that you can network with all the people in your life in an easy, natural, and consistent manner. Networking is as simple as friendship and as complex as matchmaking.  It is about people being there for one another.  People are much more likely to be "people loyal" than they are to be "brand loyal" and your network will naturally grow and blossom as you strengthen and nurture your relationships.  Never underestimate the power of your contacts!


Staying in touch with people is what keeps your relationships close and connected.  All of us at times get busy and even though we think of giving someone a call, oftentimes we don't follow through on the thought. Make a point to call people to stay in touch and reconnect.  Focus on calling at least one person a week to wish them well or see how they're doing.  Call someone you have not talked with in a long time and let them know you are thinking of them.  Networking simply happens through conversation, yet someone has to be willing to reach out and initiate the conversation.


You are a wealth of information, ideas, and contacts.  You are unique - there's never been another person exactly like you and there never will be!  You must believe that this is true, and train yourself to think and respond as someone who offers value.  A positive sense of self, an awareness of the value you can be to others, and a positive attitude, all contribute to your success.  Identify your goals in all areas of your life and utilize your resources to assist you in accomplishing those goals with more ease, fun and efficiency.


Small talk is a style of conversation that allows people to get to know one another in a nonthreatening manner. Small talk is not insignificant chitchat. It is the exploratory stage in conversation that leads to discovering commonalties and opportunities.  Learning to approach people with confidence is a real skill.  It is not about making people talk or cornering people on elevators, but about your ability to open the door to conversation with the people right around you.  When you focus on putting people at ease and show an interest in learning more about others, small talk leads to connnection, trust, and rapport.  Have you ever noticed yourself in a conversation that seems to be going nowhere?  Then all of a sudden, you find that you have something in common with the other person and the conversation takes 
off!  Be interested in and curious about people.  Most people are waiting on someone else to make the conversation interesting.  Remember that you are part of the conversation, and you have the power to direct the conversation to a topic that is of interest and value.  Opportunities exist all around you - wherever people are, networking is possible.


Listening is the heart of communication, but most people listen as if listening is simply a matter of not talking. Listening is about being mentally engaged in what the other person is saying.  Masterful listening means giving your full attention to someone else to create a connection that goes beyond the words that are being said.  It is through listening that people connect and develop trust and rapport.  It's more than just hearing the words.  Listening and responding to your clients or prospects when there is nothing in it for you will strengthen your relationships with them and reap rewards for yourself in the future.  Also, listen for what non-business needs you can fill.  There are many opportunites to do this: recommending a mechanic, a florist, a dentist, and a travel agent.  The sale is just the beginning in building a client relationship that will lead to a lifetime of repeat business and referrals.


Are you one of those people who grew up hearing the phrase, "Don't toot your own horn!" and responded by going to other extreme?  If so, it's time you learned to speak up!  You don't have to brag or be aggressive, but you do need to learn to speak with pride and confidence about who you are and what you have to offer.  Always speak to the value and benefit of what you provide people.  Most people introduce themselves by merely giving their name, title, and the name of their
company.  To connect with people, it is effective to include in your introduction a phrase or tagline that helps people relate to what you can do for them.


People are often hesitant to ask for help or information for fear of rejection or concern about bothering people.  In reality, most people are flattered and are glad to help, but you have to be the one to open the door and give them permission.
The power of asking is that it builds relationships and allows people to get involved in creating opportunities.  Asking for help and information is a way of including people and actually acknowledging them for the contribution or knowledge they have to share.  Askingis a way to enlarge your network.


When you notice yourself thinking,  "I've contacted everyone I know," think again. It's not just who you know, but who those people know as well.  Everyone has anywhere from 250 to 3,000 contacts.  If you know 250 people and each of those people knows 250 people, then your network expands into more than 64,000 perople!  Every person you know could be a resource for an influential, life-changing contact with someone.  Don't ever think you've contacted everyone there is to contact.  You have the choice and opportunity to have your network lead you to resources beyond your imagination.


The difference between a mediocre networker, who occasionally produces results and experiences sporadic satisfaction and gratification, and a master networker is the level of commitment they have.  That comes from a deep awareness of the long-term value of networking.  Is networking a good idea?  Absolutely.  It is the most cost-effective marketing tool for growing your business and reaching an endless stream of influential contacts.  But there is also documentation that people who have a strong support system tend to live longer and recover more quickly from illness.  With commitment, these principles become a natural part of who you are.  Good ideas are not the basis for the results you produce in your life -  your daily actions and habits are.  Making a commitment to yourself, your relationships, and these principles is the most powerful step you can take toward a life of richness.

Networking is like a treasure hunt.  With a treasure hunt, you know there are jewels out there, you just don't know where, and the fun is finding the jewels.  With networking, there are jewels out there everywhere - you just don't know where.  So you meet this person, talk to that person, go to this meeting, call another person ... and sometimes nothing will happen until all of a sudden you find one of those jewels!  And sometimes those jewels show up in the most unexpected places.  Let your life be a treasure hunt!  Let it be fun.  Let it be an exploration, and I guarantee you'll have a life full of jewels!