Building Your Network: From the Inside Out.
Updated: Feb 15
Building your network from the inside out requires two questions to be answered. Why do prospects engage you? Why don’t prospects engage you? These are very simple questions you likely rattled off answers in your mind quite quickly. But there is one singular action that answers both these questions. We’ll use imagery and scientific research to help us begin to unpack the answer.
Picture your average elephant that weights about 13,000 pounds. Their trunk is so strong that it allows the elephant to lift about 770 pounds. They are also very intelligent and can recognize themselves in a mirror. They’re not as good with utilizing tools as chimpanzees are, but they’re close. They’re thought of as having an excellent memory too. So, what’s the correlation between elephants and people, more importantly how does this relate to growing your network?
Look to The Inside.
Typically, at a circus, when an elephant isn’t performing, you’ll find it tethered with a rope around one leg and the rope attached to a stake in the ground. Seems kind of silly that the elephant wouldn’t just snap the rope or pull the stake out of the ground, as the facts denote how strong and smart they are. What do you think the secret is for why they don’t just run away?
It's a simple answer, it’s about how elephants are trained. It starts when they are very young; they’re tied to a stake, which no matter how hard they try, they absolutely cannot pull free, nor can they break the rope that keeps them tied up. Over time, the elephant “learns” that it cannot break free because the pattern of training never changes. Eventually the elephant stops trying to get free; it trusts in its early experiences. This belief stays with the elephant even after it has become a full-size adult and is one of the strongest animals on earth.
This word, Trust, is used a lot in our lives, but how often do you think about what it means or how important a role it plays in your life. Like every other word that is tied to a human emotion, trust is hardly a simple and easily defined condition. No, it is much more than that.
Trust can be thought of as a continuum stretching from merely “hope” at its weakest end to absolute “confidence” at the strongest end point. In its weakest state, trust is an ephemeral, unsupported desire, or hope for a situation or an outcome. In its strongest state, trust is supported by experience rather than desire, and the situation/outcome becomes far more likely to the point of unshakeable confidence and virtual certainty. The two ends of the continuum then are anchored by hope and desire at one end versus certain confidence and knowledge at the other.
Similarities Between Elephants and People.
So, why do prospects engage you or do not engage with you? The simple answer is if prospects or clients don’t engage you, they fundamentally do not trust you. “Relationships are fundamental to expanding your network, and TRUST is the crucial element to any relationship.” The process of moving from this condition of mere hope to a state of unshakeable confidence is based on positive and consistent experiences.
As prospects are exposed to consistently positive experiences with you, their level of “trust” progresses to the point that they experience an unshakeable conviction that their business provider or professional advisor meets their needs better than anyone else. This process of trust that requires moving from hope to confidence has one huge prerequisite: confidence in your own self.
If you do not have confidence in your own abilities, you can’t expect others to do so. If you don’t show confidence in your abilities, don’t expect others to do so. People are not perfect. We all have shackles, just as the elephant who believes it cannot pull free from the stake. It’s the human condition. But there is a way to free ourselves from that which holds us back.
To Do Better, You Must Change.
As a professional, whoever you are, at any moment in time, you are already the best you can be. you must become something other. You are not entitled to achieving more or becoming something better while remaining the same. To change requires a commitment to reflect on what motivates you, inspires you, fans your flames, or stifles your fire and brings a sense of defeat and hesitation—these reasons must be discovered and understood before they can be managed by you. Once you fully appreciate who you currently are, you can then decide whether you want to be better in order to do better. If the answer is yes, then you commit to change no matter how difficult that may be.
The process of freeing ourselves from our flaws is based on deep and meaningful introspection. There is no substitute process, no easier, less intense alternative path. We must have real and substantial knowledge of ourselves, the good, the bad and especially the ugly if we are to free our potential and ourselves. We must be able to examine those beliefs that we blindly trust, yet which have falsely shackled us. It is only through introspection that we achieve the freedom to reach our potential.
Introspection is looking inwards, with an objective, magnifying glass at one’s thoughts and feelings; one’s past, present and one’s desired future. Sorting through what you feel, and think is critical in order to make objective and accurate decisions. Introspection safeguards you from your own biases and faulty beliefs that might influence your clarity of thinking and decision-making. Just as the elephant is held back, unable to free itself from the stake solely because of its belief, people too are frequently held back by similar beliefs and circumstances, that are old, inaccurate, and no longer relevant.
Our consultants at Xecutive Metrix are scientists skilled in modifying obsolete behaviors, uprooting entrenched attitudes, and refining career-derailing thoughts and emotions. We use introspection as the most effective tool to bring about self-awareness, to release you of your shackles, and give you the confidence to take risks with others and to grow your network. Trust is always personal and is built level by level, with bricks of confidence, personal integrity, and mortared by care.