On Work The Pond

I recently finished reading Work The Pond by Darcy Rezac with Judy Thomson and Gayle Hallgren-Rezac. This book was referenced in an earlier reading I did,  The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki.

Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- “In a networking situation, we frogs tend to do a lot of things that lessen our effectiveness. These include: -not giving out business cards -setting our expectations too high -investing a lot of energy in a few select people we already know -not engaging in conversation -missing the really great opportunities around us every day -being unaware we are in a networking situation -and most importantly: having no joy when we network”

2- “After more than two decades in the networking field, I have discovered, while not all successful people are great networkers, all great networkers are successful people.”

3- “The real voyage of discovery consists not of finding new lands, but of seeing the territory with new eyes – Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past”

4- “It turns out that our weak contacts, even distant acquaintances, are often more powerful forces in our network than close friends.”

5- “While networking is an art, it’s impossible to overlook the groundbreaking science that proves the power of networks and the small worlds they create…Start by recognizing the following: *Good things happen to good networkers—accept it. *The small-worlds phenomenon happens all the time— expect it. *Your network is always on—tap into it.”

6- “Discovering what you can do for someone else is the seminal secret of positive networking. Thinking this way takes all the pressure off.”

7- “The third secret of positive networking is a practical one. And it must be a secret, because so few people do it. Introduce yourself by name, always carry business cards and give them out. Make it a habit. » You’ll find it’s a worthwhile habit.”

8- “« Treat everyone as equals. » It’s a whole lot easier than trying to figure out who’s who in the frog chain. Besides, it’s the right thing to do. The four Es are all about technique—establish, extend, exchange, engage. But, there is a “fifth” E. Equality. It has to do with attitude. Employ all five, and you’ll stand out from the rest of the frogs. You are on your way to being a tree frog. Establish: Establish eye contact and smile. Be focused. Extend: Be proactive. Be the first to extend your hand. Teach your kids to do the same. Develop a firm and confident handshake…Exchange: Be the catalyst, the first to give out a card. Give cards to everyone in a group. If people don’t give you a business card, ask for one. Exchange cards respectfully…Engage: If you don’t understand or hear a person’s name immediately, ask the person to repeat it. If people don’t appear to remember your name, give them a break, i Extend your hand and say your name…Have your twenty-one-second tribal introduction ready.”

9- “It’s no secret that going as a tag-team can take the pressure off and make things more enjoyable, particularly if you are a networking novice. First Century B.C. Roman writer of mimes, Publilius Syrus understood this: « An agreeable companion on a journey is as good as a carriage. » Yes, a companion is a nice idea, but teammate or no teammate, skill in working the pond makes networking more enjoyable, and that’s what you are about to learn. Jump in.”

10- “Working the pond—positively Take on a host mentality…Introduce people as soon as they enter your group. Be gracious to everyone…You’ll probably experience rejection; get over it. When in Toad country, move on. Remember Network Rule No. 7…The front of the room is the place to meet people or start a group. Avoid the back of the room—networking Siberia…Set a goal of meeting seven new people and exchanging cards, at any event. This will keep you circulating, not stuck in the mud.”

11- “The fifth secret of positive networking is:« Give everyone the password to the network: permission. » Give yourself and everyone you come in contact with permission to network. Be open to new people and let them into your network. The multiplier effect can be astonishing. While the fifth secret of networking is about attitude, the sixth secret of positive networking is about a simple technique: « Learn the power of asking questions and use it. » This is a very powerful tool in both group settings and one-on-one conversations. It often means stepping Outside your comfort zone. Be bold. Most people don’t do it; be someone who does. Socrates was famous for it.”

12- “The seventh secret of networking isn’t two secrets; it’s one: « Be there and know something. » You can’t network effectively from behind your desk; you’ve got to meet people. And there’s no point being there unless you have something to contribute beyond your presence. Read, listen, seek out knowledge and share it.”

13- “Keep it going…To be a good networker, you need to be good at follow-up..Follow-up is all about discovering what you can do for someone else, and doing it. That’s how you develop ; and form relationships..You need to learn something about people before you can discover what you can do for them. Ask Question about their company’s web site and talk with others. It’s a small world, and people are connected…Build your good “follow-up” reputation. Be reliable, trustworthy and prompt. Be a person who gets things done…Get involved—participate, invite someone to an event, in your networks strong…Remember, not all follow-up is successful. That’s okay. So if your horse is dead—dismount…Expand your contacts beyond your small circle to include different industries, organizations, cities and countries. Science shows that a few highly connected people can link a large number of not-so-well-connected people. That’s the power of networks and small worlds.”


Omar Halabieh

Work The Pond


One comment

  1. Excellent book review, Omar. Thank you for it. FYI, in addition to the US (Prentice Hall) the book has been published in Canada, Russia, China and Korea as The Frog and Prince: Secrets of Positive Networking. Judy, Gayle and I are glad you liked it.
    Kind regards,
    Darcy Rezac

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s