Are you aware of your attitude toward networking? In her book “People Power,” networking expert Donna Fisher points out several mental barriers to networking. Many people don’t even realize they have them. See if you recognize any of the following negative thinking patterns:

  • They probably don’t have time to …
  • They wouldn’t want to
  • I don’t need anyone’s help.
  • I can do this by myself.
  • I don’t want to bother people.
  • I can’t call her; she’s too busy.
  • People will think I’m weak/needy/stupid if I approach them about …
  • I should be smart enough to figure this out by myself.
  • I have no right to expect others to help me out.
  • They probably don’t know anyone who could help me.
  • I don’t want them to realize I need help with …

Where do these inhibitions come from? In life we are conditioned by our culture and the people around us. And without doing it intentionally, they pass on certain values or beliefs that prohibit us from networking optimally. Look for my tip next week to find out five kinds of conditioning that work against you and what to do about it.

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Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach, author of the bestsellers “Let’s Connect!” and “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” and a well-known international speaker about online and offline networking and referrals. Together with his team at Networking Coach team, he works for international companies, such as Alcatel, Deloitte, IBM, ING and Nike. For more information, go to his blog at http://www.janvermeiren.com. To get your free light version of the book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn,” go to www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com.