From the desk of Michael J. Hughes, Canada’s Networking Guru.

The approach of Valentine’s Day always revives the interest in, and the impact of, my good friend Cupid. For those of you who may unbelievably still be blissfully unaware, Cupid is a mythological winged cherub who acts as a catalyst for romance. His escapades are well-documented. He surprises unsuspecting couples, stabbing them with his invisible, love-laced arrows. Once Cupid has awakened this emotion, the two parties involved see one another in a completely different light. Their mutual attraction is almost overwhelming. Is this a myth that we should simply discard, or is it fact? Let’s take a look at how life operates.

You attend a networking event. A conversation partner, whom you’ve been more or less putting in time with until someone better comes along, mentions, almost off-handedly, that he has a strong connection with a prospect you really want to meet. Your attention snaps back to this person and you immediately see him in a different light; it’s almost as if you’ve been prodded in a Cupid-esc fashion to see the value in the other person.

You are about to leave your association’s monthly meeting when a colleague you barely know approaches with another person in tow. She introduces her contact, adding some comments about an event that her conversation partner has mentioned. She is adamant about the urgency that the two of you connect, as she feels you have the perfect topic to present at their next conference. You look at her, shocked and overwhelmed by this unexpected act. Her Cupid-esc networking strategy has given you a sudden, incredible appreciation for her value, both as a professional and as a person.

I believe our friend Cupid is continually at work in our lives. This time of year brings to the surface the powerful effect the Cupid Factor has, when applied strategically. An unselfish act, done to support or strengthen a relationship, always leaves both people enriched. How can you put the Cupid Factor to work as you network in coming days and weeks?

  • Increase your awareness of the Cupid Factor, and trust in its effect. You will immediately see opportunities that you never thought existed.
  • Become a Cupid by consciously investing time and effort to discover whom others want and need to connect with as you network.
  • Create networking Cupid-esc connections with others. Simply setting this principle in motion produces unexpected and unanticipated results, for yourself as well as your Cupid Factor targets.

Happy Valentine’s Day.