1. Defining your personal goal
This is the most obvious and the most difficult part of the course, helping each person answer “What do you want to achieve?” This part of the course helps people think through and articulate their objectives. Everyone shares their goal with their peer group and discusses it, often asking “Why?” in an effort to ensure the goal will lead to greater engagement and fulfillment.
“Defining your purpose” proved too abstract and frustrating for most people. We quickly made adjustments (that I wrote about here) to help people shrink the change and gain confidence in applying new ideas and skills.
2. “Leading with generosity” and the basics of building relationships
Perhaps Ferrazzi’s greatest contribution has been to reframe how people think of networking. To make it less about point-to-point transactions and more about leading with generosity to a broad, diverse set of people who can help you reach your goal. This section includes content on generosity, authenticity, and intimacy while also providing techniques and exercises to put those concepts in an enterprise context.
This worked very well. We talked about 5 mindsets – Generosity, Vulnerability, Authenticity, Intimacy, and Empathy. “Leading with generosity” was an approach that resonated with everyone.
3. Listing your assets
To lead with generosity, you need to have something to give. And most people think too narrowly about what they have to give, thereby limiting their interactions. Again, Ferrazzi reframes how people understand the full range of value they can bring to another person. In this part of the course, everyone develops a comprehensive inventory of what they have to offer to others.
4. Your relationship action plan
Armed with a clear sense of purpose, an understanding of how to approach people, and an inventory of what you have to offer, the next step is to identify who can help you – both the kinds of people and specific individuals. You’re not trying to get anything specific from each person other than a closer relationship through authentic, generous behavior. (Again, this is the genius of Ferrazzi.)
The idea is that the sum of these actions over a broad, diverse network will lead to a set of closer relationships that are fulfilling in and of themselves while also yielding more opportunities.
These sections were straightforward and worked well. If I would change anything, I’d shorten them and make more room for the other areas and for in-class implementation of the exercises.
5. Using social platforms
So far, all of this has very little to do with technology. Dale Carnegie could have taught this course in 1936. The last section of the course is to teach people how to use modern social tools and practices. The key difference is that these tools make it easy to publish and get feedback from a wide audience in a public way. Based on all that information, the technology makes it easier to scale the activities in the previous section, to find many more people and to many more opportunities.