One of my business associates, Niala Maharaj, told me an excellent story today. It is not surprising she told an excellent story - that's what she's paid to do. She is an editor, a writer and a journalist.
She is the kind of person, she says of herself, that you have to drag screaming and kicking to a networking event. She just doesn't like "networking", and does it rarely. Yet a business woman needs to meet people, right?
She spoke with a very wise woman who told her that the people she needs to meet are people she shares passions with. What does she like to do, the woman asked. Niala replied that she loves to watch political programs on TV. So, the wise woman said, then be part of the studio audience at these shows and meet your tribe there. In that setting you can be authentic, because you are doing something you love to do.
That is the secret of networking. Being with people that excite and interest you.
The secret of networking advice lies within that: People do not have to go to drinks and parties and walk about talking to strangers to network. The action they have to undertake is to find their tribe and be with their tribe, wherever that is.