The Power of Relationships: A French Lesson on Networking

Kate Leto
2 min readFeb 9, 2023
Human Connection from the Gallery of Zinaida Vartanova

In my French lesson this morning, I learned that the word “réseau” means “network.”

Giles, my teacher, used examples like telephone network and computer network to provide some context.

My mind immediately went to networking — like what we do here, or more and more these days, in real life. From what I could tell, Giles said it’s the same form of the word, but conjugated. (At which point I stopped asking questions because my head was ready to explode just thinking of another verb conjugation.) 🤯

Networking has been on my mind quite a lot recently, so the timing of its appearance in my French class seemed anything but random.

A number of my coaching clients are focused on building out their networks — be it to help get that promotion, get a project done, or to feel more of sense of belonging and community at work.

I also recently read an article about the new book, “The Good Life: Lessons From the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness.” Cutting to the chase, the authors found that the key to happiness isn’t a successful career, exercise or healthy diet (although those things help), “but one thing continuously demonstrates its broad and enduring importance: good relationships.”

While there may be a leap from virtual networking (like we do here) to the type of good relationships that the researchers are talking about, at the end of the day, it seems like It’s all about human connection.

It’s the people around us that help us handle difficult times, celebrate good ones and even supports us as we think about what might come next. And, that holds true for relationships at home, work, and in our communities beyond.

I’m not sure that I’m comfortable saying that building good relationships is a priority for me this year. (It feels a bit strange to take something so human and apply what I feel is more business jargon to it, but that’s just me.) I am comfortable in saying that it’s something that I want to spend more time on at home, work, and maybe even with Giles as he tries — against all odds — to teach me French. 😀



Kate Leto

Product Leadership and Executive Coach. Learning to love tea.