For The Love Of Networking

Do you find networking easy?

I remember when I first deliberately networked.  It was a conference and I was attending primarily for continued professional development (CPD).  It was Coaches Connect run by Vera Woodhead and I’d just finished reading a great book by Heather Townsend, the FT guide to Networking.  It felt like I had to take all the tips I’d learned and network properly and professionally.  I felt pressured, stressed and probably didn’t sleep the night before.

I remember some “OMG” moments where I found myself alone, suffered a bit of imposter syndrome and thought that everyone would not want to swop business cards with me and convinced myself I would fluff my elevator pitch if anyone asked me what I did.

What did I learn that day?

  1. Pretty much everyone feels the same when they find themselves networking for the first time.
  2. People like it when you show interest and ask for THEIR card rather than the other way around.
  3. Standing by the coffee whilst you wait for someone to break free from their conversation is OK.

Now I don’t worry.  I love networking and just 12 months on am now able to walk into an established networking group as a visitor or speaker and am comfortable.  It’s like many things and is about stepping out of and stretching your comfort zone.

I’d love to share more networking tips and more information about comfort zones but I think this may have to wait for another day. Although if you have any it would be great to share them here:

 

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