If you’ve attended one of my workshops or heard me speak then you are familiar with what I mean by “paying it forward.”  For those reading this blog who’ve never seen me speak, then you’re in for a treat.  The meaning of “paying it forward” links to research I’ve conducted during my doctoral studies.  In one particular study, I was looking at different types of networking and devised a classification of networking types; T1, T2, and T3.

T1 and T2 are people who network that are in it for themselves; basically, what is the best interest for them and their goals. T1 is an individual who will use words like “need” as in “you need me.”  T2 are two people who know one another as colleagues and/or associates from related industries.  Examples of T2’s are the insurance professional and a financial services professional OR mortgage and real estate professionals who form a pact to help each other increase their businesses. Again, their best interests come first.

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T3 people are connectors.  They are matchmakers. They know someone who will know someone (and this person is also a T3 connector).  They put people in touch with the right person who will help out.  Best yet, the T3 person has YOUR best interest at heart and are not working off of a self-serving initiative.

T3 people help people by paying-it-forward mainly because someone did the same for them!  They have no expectation of anything in return and will ask you to pay-it-forward when the time comes and someone asks you for help. T3’s enjoy seeing other people accomplish what “others” say cannot be done.  They bet on the underdog and see potential where “others” may see as unpromising.

How can you tell a T1, T2, and T3 apart?  Well, don’t get me wrong T1 and T2 people are very good at what they do…they’ve mastered being fast talkers, are typically articulate, and persuade people giving reasons to work with them.

BUT – there’s always a but.  Being a T3 is something a person cannot fake.  You either are or you are not.  It’s that simple…and that’s where T1’s and T2’s miss the boat…because it’s not their primary behaviors.  Their primary behaviors reflect for self interest…not for another person’s benefit. T1’s and T2’s will waste your time and money…

So, why am I bringing this up?  Simply because it annoys the heck out of me that greed and selfish behaviors are running rampant. Even after delivering a presentation about networking I was contacted by a person who was clearly a T1.  So, I called this person on it.  What did they say?  This person laughed and said, “Yeah, I guess I am.”  Pretty scary.

Again, one of the main reasons for my website is to share practical information.  Stuff that you can use right NOW…not later…but now.  So, strike up a conversation with someone “new” at a networking event and see for yourself – who are you meeting?  T1, T2, or T3? Happy networking!

All the best,