Monday, May 01, 2006

Characteristics of Natural Network Weavers

Network Weavers are individuals who take responsibility for creating healthy networks, what we call Smart Networks.

Anyone can learn to be a Network Weaver but natural Network Weavers have at least some of the following characteristics. Are you a natural Network Weaver?

1. Opportunity seeking: sees opportunities everywhere
2. Loves to connect people to each other
3. Able to unearth resources of all types and kinds
4. Able to remember many names and resources
5. Able to dialogue easily with people and get them to disclose information
6. Comfortable with uncertainty but persistent in making things happen
7. Able to learn from experience; decides next step after reflecting on previous step
8. Optimistic
9. Able to see when something doesn’t work and moves on
10. Has a big vision but sees the importance of taking small steps
11. Likes to get to know people with different perspectives and from different backgrounds
12. Listens well
13. Asks a lot of questions
14. Sees patterns—notices patterns in the network: where there is energy, where there is isolation, who interacts with whom, etc

13 comments:

Steve said...

Valdis great post - you nailed it !

And may I add that competent 'Natural Network Weavers' usually DO NOT rely on social networking tools to be very productive and effective.

Steve said...

Sorry June I said Valdis ( because I know him ) but meant credit to you.

Valdis said...

Right Steve, network weaving is NOT about "networking" or schmoozing. It is about building action networks, not talk networks.

Steve said...

Valdis yes indeed !

June said...

No problem, Steve...the list was compiled from the experience of all three of us. Oh, that reminds me that another characteristics of Network Weavers is that they usually don't have big egos--they enjoy working in peer relaationships with others.

Does anyone have other characteristics to add?

SteveHabibRose said...

Great post, June. May I use this list of characteristics on our website for ConnectorsNet ?

SteveHabibRose said...

Hate to disagree with you, Steve, but for many 'Natural Network Weavers,' social networking tools are one of the most powerful tools we use in our work.

On the other hand, we ALSO use other tools (like the phone, print media, and, surprise surprise meeting in person!)

And, there are some older 'Natural Network Weavers' who never got comfortable using the Internet. I'm sure there are people from other countries with less access to the Internet than "the West" who are also 'Natural Network Weavers' who don't use the Internet (yet!)

In my case, I kindof fall in the middle. I have been using computers as a tool for much of my life. But, I see them as a tool. For many kids today, they are a "buddy" and a way of life!

SteveHabibRose said...

Agreed, Valdis, that network weaving is about building action networks. But, some "talk networks" can be very effective "action networks" as well.

For example, are you all familiar with the online business networking system

Ecademy
? Lots of talk, but also lots of action. I have developed at least 1/2 dozen practical working relationships from people that I met on Ecademy. And, I've only been involved for less than 1/2 a year. Another example is Biznik, a newer, younger system based in Seattle.

In both cases, the online systems emphasize in-person meetings. And, the kinds of people who are drawn to them are apt to be open to a wide range of collaboration.

On the other hand, I've had some negative experiences on some social/business networking systems. And, an online "community" that I've hosted for years proved to be a total dud when it came to becoming a real-world community.

But, then, I've met one or two "duds" face to face as well. And, I suppose some folks might consider me a "dud" in their experience (or use an even stronger term!)

June said...

Feel free to share information on this blog, but please give our blog address so folks can come here for additional information.

SteveHabibRose said...

Peace, June.

I've already sent info about this blog to 9 relevant discussion lists that I host. I intend to publish more formal "articles" about the blog on Biznik and Ecademy this Sunday.

Looking forward to networking weaving with you!

Spinorb said...

Love the list! Do you have processes for helping people become network weavers? Are there particular qualities about the questions network weavers ask? And do they function more as a pull or draw rather than a push?

What motivates network weavers to be tend to the network? And would you consider them nurturers of the network?

SteveHabibRose said...

Peace, Spinorb, and everybody.

I'm afraid I don't have any processes yet in place to help people become network weavers. But, Orgnet itself may well offer such resources. Valdis or June may have more info.

The Center for Ethical Leadership at http://www.ethicalleadership.org may also have some resources of interest.

I've developed a few resources and approaches for people building networks -- particularly at a neighborhood level. And, I have an idea for a type of software that could be used for this purpose. At this point, I need to learn what's already available first!

But, frankly, my personal strength is doing network weaving, developing networking structures, and mentoring others, rather than developing tools or formal processes for this purpose.

My impression, Spinorb, is that you're in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since we're in Seattle, we're in the same time zone. There are a number of commonalities between our two urban areas, and I am already doing a lot of network weaving with Henry Lu, leader of the Bay Area Ecademy. I have glanced at your blogs, and, although my focus is a bit different, our basic political perspectives appear to be in alignment as well.

I'd be happy to chat with you informally about network weaving and see if there are ways that we could support one another.

You'd also be very welcome to participate in ConnectorsNet -- a "virtual network" of social connectors. Some members of our network might have a better idea of processes than I.

http://www.ConnectorsNet.com

SteveHabibRose said...

In response to some of your other questions, Spinorb:

>Are there particular qualities
>about the questions network
>weavers ask?

In my case, I ask myself first, is this a possible connection that may help interweave various networks? In other words, is this a connection I'm interested in pursuing?

If so, then I often ask the other person (or group) how might we be able to collaborate or share or interlink our networks or something like that.

Generally, if the person (or group) is interested, an opening will form and we will start exploring co-opportunities. If the person (or group) is not interested, that will be pretty clear by their lack of response, and I will simply move on to the next possible networking weaving opportunity!

>And do they function more as a
>pull or draw rather than a push?

Could you please explain this question? I'm afraid I don't understand it.

>What motivates network weavers to >be tend to the network?

In my case, it just comes naturally. It's an obsession for me, a way of life, my life's work.

Are you familiar with the book The Tipping Point? http://www.gladwell.com/tippingpoint/index.html That explains a similar kind of person that Malcolm Gladwell refers to as a "social connector." My guess is there's an overlap between "social connectors" and network weavers -- probably all network weavers are social connectors, but not all social connectors are necessarily network weavers. They may be doing other things with their social connecting rather than helping to weave the networks.

>And would you consider them >nurturers of the network?

You betcha. Decades ago, I used the metaphor "Midwife to a New Society." Other people have used the term "Doula." In both cases, we tend to see ourselves as helping to birth or nurture the network, and, perhaps a new society.

in community,

Habib