LJK Blog

The Network Inspector - REVISITED

by admin on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 3:57 AM

As I start a new financial year I have been reviewing where my time has most effectively been spent in the last year.  As before, I am struck by the amount of networking and follow-up meetings I have been doing.  Since writing a blog on networking more than a year ago I have continued to attend breakfasts and lunches, small and larger groups, had coffee, tea and drinks with a number of people and had many interesting conversations.  As always, I am motivated by meeting and sharing ideas with interesting people, debating topics and hearing what others are doing.


Many of the people I’ve met have been a delight, generous in their insights and openness.  There’s the occasional person, of course, who obviously has not read those articles about how we should, or should not, behave in a networking situation.


Much is written about the benefits of networking and how we should conduct ourselves, but what conclusions have I drawn from my own further review? And what have I learned and done differently to the previous year’s networking?


·       I occasionally try new networking groups, although I now try to avoid very large, noisy events as it’s difficult to focus on a conversation when you are being buffeted around in a packed room.

·       Smaller groups, with longer conversations and a little less ‘circulation’ allows more time to get to know people, build common ground and understand their needs more.

·       I particularly enjoy events where I learn something new or refresh my skills.  Only last week I attended an event at the Institute of Directors on ‘Blogging for Business Growth’.

The other points I previously wrote about are still valid for me:


·       If an event doesn’t feel right the first time, try it a second time as the first time might have been a personal ‘off’ day.  However, if it doesn’t feel right a second time, try something else.

·       I try to avoid events where I am forced to attend on a regular basis because that becomes a ‘job’ rather than a positive experience.  I also avoid events where the norm is to exchange business cards in the first few seconds, as that just equates to many brief conversations.

·       Networking outside of my profession broadens my perspective of the wider business context and of the world in general.

·       The right environment adds much to a networking event, so for me somewhere that is not time-limited creates a much more comfortable environment.

·       Many people are generous in sharing ideas, experiences and suggestions so be as generous to those who support you.

·       Sometimes I have to challenge myself to enter a room of strangers, but rarely is it anything other than a pleasant occasion and generally much more.

As I saw on a tweet posted only this morning by Paul Hopwood, "Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you sow."  Robert Louis Stevenson

If you would like to build your confidence to enable you to network more effectively, please do get in touch.

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