What Is The Difference Between Networking And NetWeaving?

By Jennie Gorman


Networking is a word well recognised by us all in business now, but NetWeaving is a new concept in Australia. It is a step beyond the traditional business networking that people are doing now. The term was coined by Bob Littell, a consultant in the USA.

Networking, as we are all aware, is used traditionally to find new business and for creating or changing your career.

NetWeaving, in comparison, is a simple, more reciprocal approach that focuses on helping others meet the people they need to meet to solve their challenges, rather than their own.

The difference between the two is their ‘mind set’. Instead of looking for someone to help you with what you want, it is about you helping others get what they want!

Even though networking is known as an effective way of making new contacts for your own self, NetWeaving expands this as a long term tool that focuses on developing a reciprocal business relationship that will continue on for a very long time.

How to improve your efficiency on the traditional approach.

In the traditional networking approach, you go to a meeting or function with the idea of trying to gain strategic alliances that will help boost your business.

In other words, the mind set is, “What’s in it for me?” It’s an effective means of making new contacts and developing business relations that can be very beneficial but there is a better, more lasting and trustworthy way.

NetWeaving differs slightly in its approach. To be a NetWeaver is to have the intent to learn all you can from as many people as possible about their businesses, their needs and challenges so that you can support them to find the contacts you have that can help them. The networker has the intent to learn that they can from someone to lead them to business for themselves, thus forgetting the other person!

he underlying theme of NetWeaving is the reciprocity. By supporting and doing good things for others, it can repay you many times over. I am sure that you will have noticed in your life that when you help others, good things seem to happen to you too.

How Can I help You?

By starting your conversations when you meet people with a ‘how can I help you?’ question that will change the energy. You will find that there may even be a silence at first… People are not used to being asked that question. Usually they are quick to tell you about themselves and usually don’t stick around to hear about you.

How often does someone ask you that question? I have found it very rarely, and when I do, I know that I have found someone with a synergetic mindset!

A more relaxed approach.

Being a NetWeaver is much more relaxing and gives events or meetings a more human approach. There is nothing worse than watching people ‘work the room’ for opportunities to help themselves, knowing that they really aren’t interested in what people are saying unless it helps them achieve their goal.

Showing your interest in people and genuinely wanting to learn about what they do and how you can help them, can change your experience around events. The person you are speaking with is looking for ways that your knowledge and experience can help them achieve what they want and need. Everyone is looking for the missing pieces of the puzzle with problems that need to be solved. We have the opportunity to support others with their ideas that without someone else’s help and support may never be created.

This is NetWeaving!

None of us really is aware of how much we can help others until we start listening to what others need. With experience you will begin to learn to hear the words people say that ‘ring a bell’ for you so that you know how you can support them.

Everyone has a number of business contacts that they value, whom they know well enough to know their skills and strengths in different areas. By listening to what is being said in a conversation, you can ascertain very quickly who would be a good contact for the next step for that person. Ask yourself, ‘could meeting or having contact with ‘Bill’ be beneficial?’ Sometimes it might not be to get some work, but to help them achieve what they are needing to do for their next step.

You may ask yourself, ‘has this person got the resources I could use for someone I know?’ and/or ‘would I consider adding them to my resource list’?

The two questions that always come to mind when I am referring someone is do I trust this person and have they the integrity that I desire in my network?

NetWeavers know the Golden Rule

NetWeavers understand the laws of giving, sometimes called ‘Givers Gain’. If you can give without expectation your world of networking will become a world of NetWeaving.

NetWeaving is based on helping others to achieve, knowing that ‘what goes around, comes around’. They trust and have confidence in who they are and what they are doing. If you learn how to position yourself strategically for others by ‘strategically people matching’ you will become a perfect ‘NetWeaver’.

‘Paying it Forward’ is another new concept that is starting to make its mark… it is all about NetWeaving. Have you read the book called ‘Pay It Forward’ by Catherine Ryan Hyde? It is a book about a small boy who comes up with a simple idea which changes the world. The concept is, when someone does you a favour, rather than paying that person back, you ‘pay it forward’ and do a favour for someone else. A very simple concept and one that works.

Netweaving is about enjoying helping others to achieve what they want. Have you ever noticed that when you do something for someone, you usually learn something? Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

As a Netweaver do you:

– connect people with someone you know that they would benefit from meeting or knowing

– provide information or resources to someone else that are your own or from someone in your network?

– build your own “Trusted Resource Network” of persons who are exceptional at what they do?

– If you do the above, you have a great set of skills that will support you as a NetWeaver to achieve what you want and need.

So, instead of looking to be ‘paid back’, ask each person you have helped to ‘pay it forward’ and help someone else – either by making an introduction or offering resources. And of course, if you believe in the law of reciprocity, then you know that, “what goes around, DOES come back around”.

If this sounds like something you would like to:

– learn more about – NetWeaving – the skill sets as well as strategies for building more NetWeaving into your daily routine… and by so doing, become more ‘referable’ yourself;

– get to know other like-minded people who genuinely share the NetWeaving philosophy;

– earn how to become a NetWeaver and eventually teach and train others.

The LENGTH of a person’s life is not what counts… it’s QUALITY of the content with which they fill it.

– If you use this process above in developing your relationships you will find that NetWeaving will add quality to your content.




Jennie is available for one-on-one sessions via Skype or in person. For more information email her at jennie@jenniegorman.com.au