Eric Speir

Thrive In Your Faith and Family

What Children Can Teach You About Networking

Children have a way of teaching us some great life lessons. Life is usually pretty simple for them. For children life is just a big party waiting to be enjoyed.

Photo by MikeBaird

Photo by MikeBaird

A few weeks ago my family and I went to the beach on vacation. We were only there a few days, but I noticed how easy it was for my children to make friends. I was shocked as to how quickly they met another child and started playing. Even my 20 month old son got in on the action. I watched him walk from umbrella to umbrella shaking hands and saying hi. (I’m not kidding!)

After 4 days of watching my children I noticed 5 characteristics they used to make friends:

  1. Be genuine – My children didn’t try to change who they were to make friends. They were simply themselves.
  2. Be friendly – They smiled to other people and invited them to participate in what they were doing.
  3. Ask engaging questions – They took the time to ask their names, where they lived and etc.
  4. Don’t have an agenda – They simply wanted to be a friend to someone else.
  5. Don’t make it about you – My children shared their toys and even shared their snacks with their new friends.

There have been a lot of books written on the business of networking. Most of what is passed off as networking is nothing more than selfish ploys to get what we want. I think if we would make it about being generous to others we might be more successful at it.

My children proved that generosity always wins.

Question: What else can children teach us about life?

About Eric

I'm a pastor, writer and serial encourager. I like to help people to grow in their relationship with God. I live outside of Atlanta, GA. I've written a book, Stubborn Faith: 30 Day Devotional Guide For New Growth. It's available for download on Amazon. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @ericspeir

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4 Replies

  1. My 5-year-old is the same. He’s just so bold in talking to people. He may not be a brilliant conversationalist, but he’s certainly not afraid of introducing himself.

    1. Eric

      I think the first step in being a brilliant conversationalist is being friendly and just listening!

  2. Eric,

    Loved your post and could relate since I have two grandsons Jude and Charlie. Jude is 6 and Charlie is 4 and they now have Ruthie a little 4 month old sister. I am learning so much just spending time with these three. I have watched them make friends quickly at a park and actually sigh when their new friends had to leave. It is an immediate bond with no second thoughts. No barriers to dismantle. Just one kid connecting with another. In many ways we become smarter by remembering how we did things long ago. Observing children is a great reminder. Thanks for your post.

    1. Eric

      Thanks Anne! We can definitely learn a lot from children. I like your thought of “no barriers to dismantle.” I think we sometimes complicate things as adults. I think if we made it simply about connecting with others we would have more intimate relationships with others.

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