Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


Networking Skills: Have It All, Change And Constancy

We've always done it this way ...



I'm sure you've noticed that nearly all business writing is about change; doing something differently, innovation, evolving, re-inventing the company and re-inventing ourselves ...

An elephant is large even if viewed from hundreds of feet above via a hot air balloon!

An elephant is large even if viewed from hundreds of feet above via a hot air balloon!

copyright: simoneemanphotography / 123rf stock photo

It’s at the heart of one of my favourite quotes by Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Yet, this week, I thought I’d buck the trend and fly the flag for staying the same. At first glance, this may sound like I’m advocating for resisting change by offering that often ridiculed quote ...

"We've always done it this way!”

Human history is a continual process of trying out the new and we’re certainly experiencing massive change at present and uncertainty in how we react to it. Yet as social animals, we cope best with all this uncertainty and new ideas if we have a bedrock of other people who we can rely on, and who can rely on us to provide the necessary constancy.

A quick browse on Google came up with a useful definition of constancy being the "quality to stay the same even though other things may change". In our behavioural and emotional life, this is a set of positive values. Constancy means to demonstrate steadfastness of mind under duress, fortitude fidelity, loyalty.

People who demonstrate constancy in their relationship with you are those you perceive to stay the course, they are often called 'a rock' or 'not just a fair-weather friend'. They are the ones who will be there for you when times are tough as well as helping you celebrate your success.

"There is another scientific definition of constancy that is worth applying to your network!"

Perceptual, or object, constancy is a well-research phenomenon about how our brains perceive familiar objects and people as being the same in size, shape and colour, no matter how near or far away they are, what angle we’re looking at them or what the lighting is. So we know that an elephant is large even if viewed from hundreds of feet above via a hot air balloon. Many optical illusions use this to trick our brains.

We also figure out at a young age that just because something or someone is out of sight doesn’t mean they have ceased to exist. We teach our babies this one when we play peek-a-boo with the cot blanket.

You apply all this without thinking in all your relationships. People don't disappear out of your life just because they’re not in your presence 24/7. Equally, we assume that people will behave and react consistently each time you meet them. Our brains are tuned to people being the same and will quickly pick out anomalies.

If someone who usually smiles when you greet them responds this time with a frown, you immediately think something has happened to change the context rather than that the person has changed.

This is also how you pick out those who are genuine and those who are not. Faking it requires extra effort and little slips appear when the person is not focused on impressing you.

So paying attention to constancy in both yourself and others will build the trust needed for successful networking to give you support as well as give others the confidence to refer you.

Four simple tips:

  • Be genuine in your interactions and demonstrate your willingness to support others. If you fake it you will get found out

  • Keep in touch. Whilst people will not think you’ve vanished if they don’t see you every day they will only believe you are there for them if you pitch up in their lives regularly.

  • Surround yourself with others who demonstrate constancy in their interactions with you.

  • If you notice someone in your network acting out of character find out why. The chances are they are responding in character to something that is happening in their lives. Your chance to be the rock that supports them through that change.

I’ll leave you with a re-work of a Disraeli quote I found whilst reading around this subject: “The secret to success is the constancy in your relationships.

"Would you like to know more?"

if you'd like to learn more networking skills and how to apply them to get better referrals, do give me a call on 07970 638857 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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07970 638857