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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF NETWORKING: How do You Fuel Your Relationships?

The Psychology of Networking with Christine M. West, MS, CMHT

How aware are you of how you Fuel your Relationships?

Everything requires a form of energy to be useful and function. Petroleum, coal, natural gas, and, renewable energies are some examples that fuel our buildings, cars, and modern day technology. The topic of energy is at the heart of the global political, economic, environmental, industrial, and societal infrastructures. A lot of time, energy and money are spent on discussing, arguing and debating about emerging clean and cleaner technology solutions to improve efficiencies and production of future interdependent demands. Yet we have forgotten and need to be reminded to become cognitive of how we fuel ourselves and fuel our relationships.

Our lives are a creation of interweaved webs of complication that ends up fueling ourselves and our relationships. None of us can escape this reality. This is good and bad news. A simple example of what I mean is if you fuel your body with nutritious foods and drink plenty of water daily then the body responds more vigorously. You knew that, right? The problem is we need to properly fuel more than our body. So let’s take it to the next step – our emotions and the mind.

Neurology teaches us the moment a fetus begins to develop its neurology, the central nervous system begins to develop, which is directly connected to our brain, and learning begins. The developing fetus is being fueled by the mother’s experiences in food, thought, emotion and reactions. Psychology teaches us the moment the fetus transcends from the womb to being born our caretakers begin to fuel our experiences. Our caretakers begin teach us what to believe, how to feel, how and what to think and what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. As we develop, other influences such as the media, radio and televised broadcasts, our schools, what we read, our friends, family, our workplace and everything we surround ourselves with fuels our mind and emotions.

It is our job is to differentiate between clean and damaging fuel for our mind and emotions. How do differentiate when this stuff is deeply rooted into who we think we are and how we think we are supposed to behave. We have constant interactions with family, friends, mates, our dates, bosses, co-workers, strangers, enemies and the media. How do we start to distinguish this boundary? The first place is to ensure we are feeding ourselves clean pure loving thoughts. We need to have a clean relationship with ourselves before we can have a clean relationship with others. We need to clean up our defective belief system that continues to trigger our disheartened self-images.

Spirituality teaches us the reason we seek unconditional love and support is to attract to us the circumstances and behavior we want to experience in our lives. If our belief system and self images are incongruent and misaligned, relationships end up compounding our problem. The overall purpose of our relationships is to fuel mutual love, value and support. Yet it doesn’t appear this way because we distort our interactions with other people. When we behave this way, we think we are fueling our relationships with love, support and value. The reality is we are actually sending fear, distrust, hate, and manipulation which results in making ourselves and others miserable. So how does this affect our relationship capital and our ability to grow our networks? Something to think about -

Business teaches many to believe the more pragmatic and more focused one is on the hard skills for example technology, processes, procedures and the bottom line, the more successful one will be. Those who have bought into this belief misunderstand the value of soft skills. The more proficiency one has with soft skills, the more influence one has to shape behavior and to fuel relationships positively. Most people want behavior to change yet most people unknowingly use hard skills to reinforce unwanted behaviors. We need to become smarter with selecting the correct tools to fuel and grow our relationships.

I want to help to broaden your awareness in acting smarter about growing our relationships in positive healthy manner. If you are a non-smoker and you spend your time with people who smoke. You end up subjecting yourself to the same health risks as the people who smoke because of second hand smoke inhalation. Now let’s look at how energy works. If you are generally a positive person who spends their time with pessimistic gloomy people you end up with the same second hand negativity inhalation. This is because energy flows where our attention goes. If our attention is about valuing people and our relationships, we will continue to be presented with opportunities to learn to master this skill. On the other hand if we focus on the negative or what we don’t want to happen …….. Energy flows where our attention goes.



Author: Christine M. West, TheBusinessMD, 2240 E. Tudor Rd. #976, Anchorage, Alaska, USA 99507. Phone 1-907-223-8403. Email:, TheBusinessMD offers transformational services to assist better human relationships in the workplace.To hear a conversation with Christine

Christine is also hosting an enticing Webinar Series titled “How to Master the Fear in Challenging Economic Times”. This is an invigorating series that you will not want to miss! To sign up

Christine is also a Featured Columnist for The National Networker

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1 comment:

Donna Fisher said...

Christine, Great information about how energy influences our relationships. I've always said that networking is primarily about awareness and attitude. Our attitude represents an energy that affects our ability to connect with people. Thanks for the great article.

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