Some people would rather eat their own head than go to a networking function. I’d be a bit of a fibber if I said that I was filled with joy every time I’m off to a function, but a lacklustre response to the opportunity to network is the exception, not the rule for me. I do care about networking, here’s why and here’s what you can do to like networking as much as I do.
As I’ve written before, mindset is critical when it comes to successful networking as well as getting past your own bullsh*t My own bullsh*t wasn’t particularly unusual for a woman as it was grounded in a lack of self-worth, a large dose of imposter syndrome and frankly, not many networking skills!
Fast forward a decade or so, there is not much bullsh*t, not much imposter syndrome but a significantly increased set of networking techniques, which enables me to be confident, self-assured and skilled networker. One of the many reasons that I started WWGI events is to create safe spaces and places for women to gain the skills to successfully network as well as learn to love networking as much as I do. (Or dislike it a little less!)
Thought starters About Networking
- Networking isn’t just attending functions. Any time you’re in an environment where there are other people is a chance to network, to make a connection beyond the superficial and manage your professional brand. It can be an in-house meeting, team offsite, town hall or even the regular team meeting you have. How are you using those opportunities to hone your human connection skills? What impression have you left? What will people say about you when you leave the room?
- Networking Forges Business Relationships. Whether it’s a colleague, boss, client, potential client or supplier, making deeper connections is an important part of the building the know, respect and trust ‘terrific triangle’. When you’re in the terrific triangle, people are more likely to hire you or buy from you. So the people you meet and network with may become mutually valuable terrific triangle relationships in the future. This takes preparation, curiosity and a fair dose of vulnerability, but it’s worth it!
- Networking Grows Curiosity. Great networking forums enable attendees to be curious and learn inside and outside of the sessions about the people they meet. Adopting a genuinely curious, inquisitive attitude to your meet and greet activities may just unearth that interesting fact, fabulous opportunity or simply forge a new terrific triangle relationship. And let’s face it, curiosity is one of the most desired traits in business today as it fuels innovation.
Setting Myself a Challenge
I always set myself a challenge or a ‘KPI’ at each networking forum I attend. Whether it’s to meet two brand new people and exchange contact details, to learn one interesting new fact or to find out something new about a industry sector I’m not familiar with, setting this objective gives my networking purpose and, because I’m hugely competitive, makes me very focussed on what I’m doing as well as ensuring that I’m being an active listener, which is an essential skill for networking.
What Now Michelle?
I know it’s easy for me to sit and write about why you could consider changing your mindset about networking. But I’m a great believer in putting money where my mouth is and getting sh*t done. With that in mind, I’m curating another cracking WWGI professional networking event to help women learn how to network like a CEO. Whether you are in corporate or your own business, this event will give you all the good stuff, information, inspiration & insights into how to advance your career or business by being a skilled networker.
There will be facilitated networking exercises, a panel of experts plus freestyle meet and greets, all on one night, one place in the Melbourne CBD.
To gain skills, form ‘terrific triangle’ relationships, eat some beautiful food and have some fun in a safe, friendly space for women only, Book Here.
P.s. To receive a subscriber only early bird discount, SUBSCRIBE.