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Keith Ferrazzi on Building Collaborative Relationships

CTU Presents speaker and best selling author Keith FerrazziKeith Ferrazzi knows relationships. The experienced networker and best-selling author shared his tips in a June CTU Presents event over graduation weekend, instilling his wisdom in new graduates.

Ferrazzi prizes real interactions and adding value to relationships over racking up the most connections possible. Throughout his talk, he discussed building a People Plan to guide effective networking. We’ve compiled some of the top tips from his talk to help you create your own People Plan and build meaningful relationships.

  1. Believe that you can. Don’t pre-judge that people won’t accept you. “As long as you feel that is true, you will push people away,” Ferrazzi said. You have to trust that people will find value in connecting with you – otherwise, they will pick up on your reluctance, and your fear of rejection could become a reality.
  2. Create a list of people to connect with in order to achieve your goals. Once you’ve set your goals, start building a list of those in your network who can assist you along your way, and brainstorm ways to reach out to them strategically.
  3. Add value. Ferrazzi shared an anecdote to explain precisely how simple it can be to add value. He caddied as a young man, and made an important connection because he would show up a half hour early to get the best information for his golfers. They appreciated the value he added, and one woman became an important influence and close friend. “Show up a half hour early,” Ferrazzi says. “This woman cared about me [initially] because I was a good caddy and had better info than the other caddies.”
  4. Follow and engage with those you admire. Ferrazzi makes important contacts through social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, and often those relationships move offline into real-world networking. Start building your personal brand now to take advantage of potential opportunities in the future.
  5. Research those you want to meet. When you’re attending a networking event, look up facts about others attending and decide if you can help each other. Seek them out, and follow up strategically.
  6. Grant permission for candor. Ferrazzi says that the best relationships help both parties move forward – and to do that, you have to be comfortable telling the truth without fear of reprisal. Creating an atmosphere of comfort and acceptance is key.
  7. Build your own inner circle. Ferrazzi’s mother has a group of friends she’s met with once a month to play cards for nearly 50 years. These women don’t just play cards – they support each other through tough times and always show up. Ferrazzi has created his own inner circle of friends who constantly challenge each other and support each other. The most important thing, he says, is holding each other accountable. That helps you move forward.
  8. Don't be afraid to ask. Ferrazzi grew up poor, with parents who struggled to provide their children with everything. Ferrazzi learned to never be afraid to ask – because the worst you can hear is no. And often, you might hear yes.

How will you tailor your own networking and goal-setting approach based on Keith’s advice?