In yesterday’s post , Liz Lynch, author of Smart Networking: Attract A Following In Person And Online, suggested that while the typical person forms their first impression of the other by silently assessing how that person can be of help to them, the more astute Networker, the Go-Giver (and I can tell you from personal experience, Liz is definitely one of those) comes from a very different point of view, wondering first how they might be of service to the other.
A rather strange-sounding term, “The willing suspension of self-interest” was then introduced. When first seeing it in Thomas Power’s book, Networking for Life, it brought to my mind the movie term, “The willing suspension of disbelief.”
In other words, we know it’s just a movie; we know that James Bond isn’t really blowing up an entire terrorist’s compound, and that when the head terrorist points a gun at his head and he responds by coolly cracking a joke, the actor’s life isn’t actually in danger. But, in order to enjoy the story, we willingly suspend our disbelief.
In the same way, when we willingly suspend our self-interest (note, I didn’t say forego our self-interest; that would be neither natural, nor healthy) we create an environment where a great deal more abundance will actually find its way toward us.
But, is that just some “Positive Mental Attitude” nonsense that doesn’t actually work in the real world?
Not at all. It works quite well in the real world. In fact, amazingly well. And, why is that? Because when you can take your focus off of yourself and be, what John David Mann and I call, “Other-Focused” and constantly, genuinely look for ways to add value to their lives, you create some amazing good-will.
The seeds you plant result in others feeling good about you know; indeed, feeling as though they “know you, like you and trust you; wanting to see you succeed; wanting to be a part of your life.
Yes, it works, providing you avoid one very dangerous trap. And, we’ll look at that all-to-easy-to- fall-into situation in the next article.