or… What I learned about Networking from The Oscars

Take a look at the history of movies and you learn a thing or two about human relationships.  Really think about it for a moment.  Last night’s win of The King’s Speech is a good illustration of how, we as humans, are willing to pay money to watch the story of two total strangers becoming friends.

It’s replete in our books throughout history, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that we yearn for stories of people overcoming various obstacles.  What’s fascinating is that no matter what the roadblock may be (Aliens, serial killers, Nazi’s, the wild west, ignorance or apartheid) there’s a very human element in our storytelling.  A social component.

I know everyone has The Social Network on their minds right now.  Although it didn’t win, it was a brilliant piece of filmmaking (writing, acting & directing).  At its heart the intention wasn’t a story about Facebook, but about the people and their relationships surrounding the creation of the company.

Let’s flip this around for a moment.  Say movies reflected the way I see many act in the business world — individuals who are all out for themselves and what they can get.  For them, building relationships via a network is a means to get what they want…not to establish a relationship or tell a story.  No one is watching that; it doesn’t feed our basic need for relational growth.

I love to introduce my friends to one another, and I always try to tell the story of how we met.  It’s the story that establishes my relationship with people.  Without taking the time to tell the story, no one would care about the relationship.

Remember this as you go through your day.  If you’re struggling to build your network, think about the story first.  Create a good story of your relationships, and the network will build itself.