“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” – Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion*
Newton’s Third Law of Motion was an important part of my early education, and for a few hours every week it was the focusing thought that kept me safe and controlled my performance. You see I was a Springboard Diver and my success depended on how effectively I utilized this Law; understanding and controlling the physical actions and reactions that created just the right amount of lift and spin. In those hours of practice I also learned a bit about how my confidence, or my fear. would impact my performance. Confident action would create a consistent and smooth return of energy. Fearful action would create hesitation and so a returning energy that was diminished and unreliable. I keep this picture of me (at age 16) on my Smartphone as a reminder of those early lessons.
You may be wondering where I am going with this thought. Well Newton’s Third Law of Motion was the analogy that entered my head the other day as I was preparing for an association meeting/networking event. You see, although I am fairly outgoing and confident, I get a little nervous when it comes to “networking”. So, before any networking; call, coffee meeting, industry conference or association event, I remind myself of Newton’s Third Law; “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Or simply “What you give is what you get”.
I believe preparation and practice always contributes to confidence. So to create good energy for and from a networking meeting:
- Get Current – Do some reading and research before your meeting.
- Know who you are in the setting and practice your introduction.
- Know what you can offer and be ready and willing to share.
- Get curious – Think about the questions you have and who can help you find answers.
- Bring and keep a positive and inquiring attitude to have that returned to you.
One of my colleagues, Ali Chambers (Coach and ClearRock VP), once shared with me a simple word play to help me relax and breathe when networking in a career transition setting. She said networking is not about asking for a job, think of networking as getting A.I.R.; Advice, Information, or a Referral. I continue to keep Ali’s advice in mind and have expanded her thinking as I look for that effective Action/Reaction when I am meeting people. My play on A.I.R.:
- Advice / Awareness -What advice are you seeking (Action) to create awareness (Reaction)?
- Information / Insight -What information may you obtain (Action) to gain insight (Reaction)?
- Relationship/ Referral -How might you create and maintain a strong and long term relationship (Action) to expand the value of the relationship and grow your network (Reaction)?
Is there an image and saying you have that anchors you to success? If so, capture it and use it as a jumping off point. And remember, with preparation, practice and a little bit of A.I.R. you can soar high with grace and confidence.
*Sir Isaac Newton – English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian, who has been considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived.