What is the Flowing Point?
Simply put, when an individual has reached their Flowing Point, they have maximized the number of people in their network who can provide information that leads to a solution.
It's one thing for a person to have a large network, but if they are unable to tap into the information available, what good does it do to simply claim that you know many people.
When you have reached your Flowing Point, it does not simply mean that you have a large network, size in this case does not necessarily matter. What's more important is that you know what information you can gather from your network and how you can utilize it to come to a solution.
Are you in the Flow?
Being in the flow allows you to gather the information necessary to come to a solution. The solution(s) ultimately lead you to your objectives and goals. Take time to answer the following questions to determine if you have a good understanding of your network and are in the flow of information.
Who is part of your network?
Who are your primary contacts?
Who are you secondary contacts?
How often do you access your network for information?
When is the last time you met someone new and utilized the information t hey provided?
What is Flowing Point process?
- A systematic process for getting the most out of your contacts
- It allows you to organize the networking process
- It highlights your networking strengths and weaknesses
- It provides a framework for networking
- It helps you to develop the networking skills to become successful
- It helps you become successful by monitoring the number of contacts that can provide you with useful information
- It helps you reach your Flowing Point
4 Steps to Reach your Flowing Point
Each of these steps represents a process towards maximizing the benefits of your network. The ultimate goal is for the process to become second nature. Many of the skills learned through the process will allow you to tap in to your existing network as well as add new contacts in order to obtain the information you need to become successful .
The four Steps are:
1. Analyzing your network
2. Getting in the flow
3. Monitoring your flow
4. Finding and maintaining your Flowing Point.
Step 1: Analyzing your Network
It is important to determine how many people are in your network to determine the potential flow of information available to you
Identifying what type of information each contact can provide is critical to your success
If you determine that information sources are lacking, attempt to broaden your network
Audit your Network
- Write your name in the middle of the circle.
- Add your family members, connect with line.
- Add your friends, connect with line.
- Connect your friends and family if they know each other.
- Add any contacts your friends and family may have and connect them accordingly – you are developing a mind map of your network. Who you know, whom they know and how you can tap into that network increases your flowing point.
Questions to consider
- How many contacts have you listed?
- How many indirect ties do you have to contacts?
- Were there any contacts listed where you didn't know their profession?
- How can you add more contacts to your network?
- Who are the most valuable contacts?
Step 2: Getting in the flow
The key to getting in the flow is to first understand your strengths and weaknesses to networking.
Answer the following questions so that you can start to prepare yourself. The key here is to understand what you are presently doing with regards to networking. Now that you have a better understanding of your network, you can start to prepare yourself to gather the necessary information to become successful.
- How many new people am I meeting?
- What organizations do I belong to?
- Am I currently volunteering?
- Do I have someone to work with in my network building?
- How do I monitor my network?
- Where do I go for information?
- What do I do with the information I collect?
- Where do I go for help?
- How do I identify opportunities?
Step 3: Monitoring your Flow
Networking is multi-faceted and cyclical
- Making contacts can be linear
- Nurturing contacts is a skill
- Identifying useful information is critical to success
- Networking is a learned process
- Managing contacts within a network does not have to be difficult
- Six stages to the Flowing Point Process
What is an Opportunity?
- Does the opportunity fit in with my plan?
- Who provided the opportunity?
- What is the connection?
- How can they help me?
- How can I help them?
- What can I give?
Ident ifying Opportunities
- Having clear goals and objectives
- Seeing the bigger picture
- Thinking long-term
- Establishing a plan
- Communicating your goals effectively
- Ability to think outside the box
What is a Contact?
- Is this relationship worth pursuing?
- Do I still need to follow-up with the individual?
- Do I still need to determine the value of the connection?
- How can I validate this individual?
- What referrals can I get?
- Making the initial contact
- Establishing rapport
- Articulating your needs
- Understanding the audience
- Identifying a match
- Getting referrals
- Determining the next step
Exploring the opportunity
- Have I decided to pursue this relationship?
- Do I still need to determine if there is a possible connection?
- Do I require more information about the contact?
- Do I know what this person can offer me and what I can offer them?
The process - starting to Explore
- Asking the right questions
- Doing your research
- Determining a match
- Thinking long-term
- Identifying other opportunities
- Determining the next step
- Have I determined if this is the right connection?
- Have I developed the right plan?
- What will be the process?
- What is the timeframe?
- What dollars are involved?
- Who will be involved?
- What's the next step?
Strategizing for success
- Developing a plan
- Linking plan to objectives and goals
- Determining roles and expectations
- Identifying worse-best case scenarios
- Being realistic
- Creating a timeline
Starting to Negotiate
- Have I formalized an agreement?
- Have I agreed on a sale?
- Have we started to do business together?
- Has a partnership agreement been made?
- Do both parties know what they will get out of the relationship?
- Effective Negotiating
- Creating a win-win scenario
- Establishing the rules of the game
- Linking to objectives and goals
- Determining your limitations
- Getting a fair deal
Reaching a Solution
- Have I met my target?
- Have I developed a plan for a continued relationship?
- Am I happy with the solution?
Have I got paid?
- Is the relationship a win-win scenario?
- Does this fit into my overall
Finding a Solution
- Achieving the desired result
- Moving forward
- Building skills and abilities
- Increasing capacity
- Learning process
- Establishing your path
- Creating further opportunities
Step 4: Your Flowing Point
- The Flowing Point is a destination
- We can not rule out any connections we make as not being applicable
- Information is flowing all the time
- Knowledge is power
- The need to organize information is critical to success
- It's one thing to gather information, it's an entirely different thing to be able to utilize the information
- The quality of contacts is more important than the quantity
- Networking is a learned skill
- You must be accepting of new techniques to become successful at networking
- You must be willing to provide information in order to collect it
- Networking is a multifaceted process
- Organizing network activity is critical to reaching your Flowing Point
Reaching your Flowing Point
- You will have reached your Flowing Point when success becomes much easier.
- Your Flowing Point is a constant influx of information.
- Answers to life's difficult questions will be easily answered.
- Opportunities will be presented on a regular basis.