Lessons From Networking

by | May 2, 2018 | Blog, Communication, Dealingwithyourdiabetes | 0 comments

Meeting People and Managing Diabetes

In my adult working life, both in nursing and healthcare IT, I have had the good fortune to meet a lot of people.  And I mean a LOT of people – patients, clients, potential customers, co-workers, competitors, colleagues and bosses.  In my various roles, I was very service oriented.  “What can I do for you?” “How can I help?” “How can I serve?”  And I am pretty good about solving problems and getting stuff done if I don’t say so myself!  My gift is solutions.  Have a problem?  I would love to help you solve it.  I enjoy being “in the know” and using my experience to help others.  So my frame of reference when meeting someone new, is to think “What can I do for them?”

My New Venture

As I launch my own business, I am very confident about how I can serve others and the message I want to bring to the diabetes discussion.  But this whole entrepreneurial thing?  That’s new ground.  It requires new skills and meeting a LOT of people – no problem. I’m outgoing and comfortable with introductions.  But what I am finding new in the networking world, it’s not only “What can I do to help  your business?”, but “What can I learn from you?”  Tables are turned and I am the novice.  Two things that keep manifesting are 1) People LOVE to help! 2) Business is more about building relationships than what someone is selling.  As much as I didn’t think I would like being on the receiving end of the relationship, I have found it quite soothing to be the student.  The expectations are lower.  Mistakes and failures are welcome and part of the game (and how you learn).  And it is exciting to have that eyes-wide-open, everything-is-new-feeling.

What’s This got to do with Diabetes?

Well several things.  For those of us who have been at it a while, it feels good to help the newbies learn the ropes.  I would never wish membership in this club on anyone, but if you are here, I want to share my tips and tricks.  There is nothing worse than those initial feelings of isolation, desperation and disconnection.  Reaching out to say  “What can I do for you?” “How can I help?” “How can I serve?” is a sweet way to pay it forward.  Secondly, if you are a newbie (sorry you are here – seriously), get connected with people who can support you, help you through your mistakes, and understand there is no perfection in this game. You need all the emotional and spiritual support you can get right now.  And lastly – newbie or old hat, it’s all about the relationships – not about the disease.  Relationships are intimate connections between people, not pancreases.  In connection we are not alone.  And that makes all the difference.





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