Big Spoon, Small Spoon: Giving in BNI

The below is a suggestion for an Education Moment during a BNI meeting, but can be used to share the benefits of networking with anyone in your life.

To get the full effect, have handy a large serving spoon and a smaller spoon that you would use to eat soup with.

Hold up the small spoon, and ask your audience what they would use it for. Aside from a few jokesters, your audience will answer “Eating.”

Now hold up the large spoon, and ask what it is for. Your answer should be “Serving.”

Ask your audience why they joined BNI. You’ll receive numerous answers, most being a variation of “To get more business and to make money.”

Tell them the reason they joined BNI was to use the small spoon, and hold it up. All members saw opportunities to get more business, and to feed themselves.

The philosophy of BNI, Givers Gain, teaches us how to use the large spoon (hold it up), so that we have enough for not just our small spoon, but for others.

How often to members have nothing to give in the “I Have” section of the meeting? These members come to the meeting only wanting to use the small spoon. If every member is only at a BNI meeting to eat, who will serve with the big spoon?

As BNI members, we have to think about how we can give to other members. Giving can be in the form of a referral, a visitor, or other opportunities. You could help a member with their Feature Presentation, suggest how someone can give a great Weekly Presentation, or teach a new member how to use BNI Connect – any way you can help or serve the others in your chapter, you should consider.

A chapter that has more members providing for each other and using the serving spoon will have more opportunities for everyone to use the small eating spoon.

Only if we give to others can we hope to receive.

Ask yourself, have you been using the small spoon too often? How can you use the serving spoon more?