Today my coffee was the shared-with-friends kind. Freshly perculated as we spent a morning networking.
One amongst many, I was inspired again but the creativity, the noise and the fun generated when women get together to network. Network?? Yes. Building relationships, forging friendships, connecting people with one another, facilitating conversations between strangers because you see possibilities. Let’s face it, as women we are PERFECTLY positioned for this task.
We have already agreed that we are relational at our core. We are interested in people around us. It makes sense to put this normally idle curiosity to good use by honing it as a skill. Work at connecting with people, talking to them and then reconnecting them with others.
If you are businesswomen or career-building professional, look for and join business networking organisations that value mentorship and relationships. Participate in group activities. Build an extensive business network.
If you are a homemaker, mother or both (!), look for interest groups in your area. Use meetings as an opportunity to meet and get-to-know people with like-minded interest and passions.
However you choose to build your network, remember that authenticity is an essential component in networking. Your “friends” will probably see through any self-serving activities quite quickly and that is a sure-fire way to decrease the size of your network (dramatically!).
Honest, meaningful networking involves 1)making an effort, 2)getting to know people, not just how they can serve your purpose, 3)taking risks, and 4)patience.
Most people I have met, understand networking as an opportunity to create business for themselves, as women who are relational at the very heart, I believe we have an obligation to change this perception. Networking is about knowing enough about those friend, colleagues and associates in your “network” to understand how you can best assist them.
Happy net-working ladies!