Above you can see a 5 pointed star representing 5 different networking styles. We all use a different networking / communication style in our daily interactions. To make things a little easier I have defined 5 main groups of styles.
There is no 'good' or 'wrong' in being a certain networking style. Although e.g. being a 'Manager' in real life has a association of being a 'Leader', being 'Strong'. The fact of the matter is that all networking styles produced great Leaders,great role-models! Bill Clinton e.g. is a great charismatic 'Teamplayer', Ghandi was a perfect example of an 'Inventor' and Dr. Phil and 'Oprah' are very known' Artists'.. just to name a few examples.
The basics of the Model which I want to share online is:
Being successful using the ON Networking Model©:
Be informed that the secret lies in Being and Expressing yourself in your natural networking style.
Our dominant communication styles from an online perspective can be categorized into 5 main groups.They can be recognized by the way they express themselves, also online, e.g. in profiling themselves in on Social Media portals:
The ‘Manager’-type typically writes short profiles, preferably using bullet points. He is ‘action’ driven and has a ‘helicopter view’ and delegates non-essential issues to others in the company organization.
Famous Manager-types: Margareth Thatcher,George Bush, Norman Schwarzkopf
Companies associated with this type: Mercedes, GE, Shell
The ‘Artist’-type is expressive and action driven in his communication style. Something he describes is either‘wonderful’ or ‘useless’ , ‘ black or white’ but nothing in between. We like to look at Artist-types, we do it daily on the television. They are flamboyant and good product or salespeople. Not being able to communicate with nuances they tend to get into relationship troubles more often than other types. They often are emotionally unstable, the 'ego' is important.
Famous Artist-types: David Bowie,George Michael, Pim Fortuin, Steve Balmer
Companies associated with this type: Media, Nike, Porsche,
The ‘Team-player’-type is a follower of general trends. In fact he likes the uniformity of the majority. His writings show social empathy and responsibility. In real life he is likely to be good in social relationships and is not afraid to show emotions. He is a follower (reactive) of fashion.
Famous Teamplayer-types: Bill Clinton, Olaf Palme, Ghandi
Companies associated with this type: Governmental Institutions, NGO’s, Charity
The ‘Inventor’-type likes to do things differently, he takes nothing for granted. His writings are elaborate and show creativity. He is more likely to be a web 2.0+ user seeking interaction with other free minds.
In real life his disability to perform in fixed positions in a highly regulated environment makes him unable to such an environment. Nevertheless, the fruits of his creativeness influences society more than other types, the ego is not important.
Famous Inventor-types: Da Vinci, Copernicus, van Gogh
Companies associated with this type: IBM, Toyota, Tesla
The ‘Adviser’-type likes to be elaborated but niche oriented in his writings. He is a specialist in his field of expertise. He has no problem to conform himself to the regulations and strictness or companies and organizations. In real life he is likely to consult others about his specialism, often to the Manager-type who needs his specialist views. He is the true rationalist amongst the types.
Famous Adviser-types: Dr. Spock, Balkenende, Alan Greenspan
Companies associated with this type: Ernst & Young, BCG, McKinsey
What does that mean for online networking?
All in all the ON- Networking model© gives us a pretty powerful tool to assess profiles. If we are able to use it properly we can be successful online. That sounds very simple, but it isn’t.
First, you depend on the flexibility of the online tool that enables you to show yourself. If it isn’t, like e.g. LinkedIn, we have a hard time to assess the real person behind the written profile. A video makes it far easier to do that, it show someone is dressed, if he is expressive or not or conforms himself to leading opinion. So, the more flexible the tool you are using, the better are your chances of choosing the right business partner or candidate for a vacancy at your company.
Second, what is in it for you? In general if you know your communication-style,your online target should consist of the 2 styles that are bordering your own style and naturally, same styled people as well. People who are opposite to your style in the ON Networking model© to your own style will not add to your effective network. That means that if you are e.g. an ‘Inventor-type’, the Adviser and the Teamplayer types can make an addition to your effective network,but the Manager-types and the Artist-types will give you headaches in the long run. For short term relationships (e.g. in sales) you’llknow what to do to be more appealing in your online communication to the different communication styles.
Influencing & Leadership
The Model goes beyond recognizing networking styles. If you are able to assess networking-styles of the people you are doing business with, you can determine the best networking actions towards them in order to create B2B value. E.g. you can choose to only do business with matching networking styled people or with a larger group, including also a bordering networking style. Also there is a process we all recognize as 'Being Charismatic' leading to 'Leadership'. e.g. Obama (who is an Inventor-type by nature) is able to charm and appeal to the Teamplayer types and even Managers types successfully and George Bush(who is a Manager-type by nature) was able to appeal to a lot of people using 'humor' to make a difference.
You clients also have ruling networking styles. Sometimes that comes with the profession; People working for accountancy-firms e.g. can be expected to have a strong 'Advisor' type communication style. Media oriented companies (advertising / product marketing / sales) have a larger amount of employees with an 'Artist' type networking style. Knowing that makes it easy to determine the best online networking action in order to have unique values creating real long term business..