Who You Know Always Matters

Who You Know Always Matters

Who You Know Always Matters

The value of networking cannot be underestimated.

Whether you’re working for someone else, trying to grow in an area of your career or industry, or contemplating going out on your own, networking is very valuable. First, because networking leads to building new relationships. And relationships are everything.

There is always something that somebody else can help provide to you and you can provide to somebody else. 

travel work

3D Social Networking” by Chris Potter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

It’s important to know what you bring to the table – and to realize that you can’t possibly know everything. Listening to others, learning from them, is how we expand our intellectual capabilities and move forward.
travel work

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

Of course, I’m the first to admit that I get nervous walking into a networking event. All those people circulating, shoving their business cards in my face. Not my favorite setting.

But, once there, it can be very confidence-building.

And, it’s not an immediate gratification, so it builds patience, and the long view. You might meet somebody in May and wait two years before that person pops into your mind because their service or offer or talent is valuable to you in a new way. Or vice versa.

I firmly believe that no meeting is ever in vain. There is always a next step, even if you don’t see it immediately. You just never know where one interaction will lead, or the long chain of connections that weaves through our lives.

For me, it’s important to network within my legal community, but opportunities outside of my industry are also important.

One of my favorite legal community networking opportunities brings professionals involved in family law together monthly for lunch and a speaker through the Michigan Interprofessional Association – attorneys, judges, Friend of the Court referees, mental health professionals, financial people, and more. It’s low-key and you can talk one-on-one with people at your table, at a leisurely pace.

Sometimes I go to events because I know it’s good to be seen. I tell my Collaborative friends, you have to show up at meetings if you want to get more cases, to show that you’re interested in working on relationships. Simply put, you have to put in the effort to reap the reward. Always. In every situation, be it personal or professional.

travel work

I also network through the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber. I participate in the Chamber’s Business Pioneers Action Group, where I am the only family law attorney. Sometimes I feel like I can’t take that hour out of my day but I do it anyway because I’m building long-term powerful relationships.

Finally, networking has to happen in areas where you are passionate. I get involved in political campaigns, and I am dedicated to my spiritual community.

I am involved with Hazon and AIPAC, growing my reach in areas of great interest to me. Maybe it will help my career, and maybe it won’t. But it helps me as a person, which always boosts every realm of your life.

To be successful in your work, you basically have to know who you are and what matters to you – and share that with others. Where are you going to start?

Read more Off Topic posts

A Jewish Family Law Attorney Reflects on the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

A Jewish Family Law Attorney Reflects on the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

A Jewish Family Law Attorney Reflects on the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

Have you ever said something, thinking you were clear and focused, only to have the other person in your conversation blow up in response?

What did I say, you wonder? Why are they reacting that way? I thought I was simply conveying information.

In the world of Collaborative Family Law, we call ourselves peacemakers. We work on communication conflicts, how to deal with and how to resolve such conflicts, and how to respond in uncomfortable situations.

travel work

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Because you see, every success or failure lives and dies on communication.

The Path to Peace

Whether in the workplace, at home, in relationships or simply driving in traffic and cutting someone off or kindly waving them in in front of you, every communication can make or break the peace of your world.

In family law, we see far more of the breaking kind than the making kind. And as a Collaborative Family Lawyer, I’m trying to change that.

travel work

Photo by Zoran Kokanovic on Unsplash

If we redefine our work as peacemaking, then we approach it differently.

In my work, I help people going through divorce resolve conflict. The message, though, is beyond just families.

Right now, in our incredibly polarized world, how do we change this conversation from political dichotomy to universal understanding?

Politics & Polarization

One conversation is not likely to erase the divide in our political landscape, but we can be less nasty, less vilifying of our opponents. And if every person attempted this, imagine what the atmosphere would become: calmer, closer to peace, thoughtful, respectful.

During the weekend of the recent Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, I was attending a Collaborative Divorce conference in Seattle.

That weekend, when I was focused on the words we use, the intention behind the words we choose versus the impact of those words, I received an email from Nigel Savage, founder of Hazon, a Jewish food security organization. He was leading a bike ride through Israel with more than 200 people when he learned of the synagogue shooting. Nigel relayed:

travel work

Photo by Melany Rochester on Unsplash

“[Recently] we’d done a session with students from the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, our partner on the Ride. Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian students, more than 30 of them, meeting in small groups with our riders. And we heard the same story, over and over, each one different, each one the same. This is how I grew up, this was my family… and I came here, and met these people who had very different histories from mine, very different understandings of the world… and it was hard…. And we wrestled…. And now we’re friends. Genuinely. Not that we agree on everything – we don’t – but we know each other and we care about each other.

We Don’t Have to be Divided

travel work

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

“And what I said this morning was: the fault line now is not between Israelis and Palestinians, or Democrats and Republicans.

It’s between those who strive to use language with honesty and empathy and a desire to make things better; and those who use language to inflame, incite, exaggerate and demonize.

That is what our tree of life has taught us these two millennia – that language, and respectful discourse and truth are utterly central to being Jewish.”

And, I would argue, to being human.

Let’s find our commonalities and not focus only on differences. Let’s choose words that will elevate the conversation. Every conversation. Every day.

Read more Off Topic posts