“Pulling a good network together takes effort, sincerity and time.” – Alan Collins, author of “Unwritten HR Rules”
One of the major takeaways from the Women In Leadership Symposium this year was the fact that networking is THE strategy for making the next step in your career. In light of that notion, my Employee Resource Group (ERG) committee decided that our members need more tools in their toolbox to be successful networkers at our events. Basically, we would like to ensure that our events – that we put so much time, effort and sometimes even money into organizing – are as effective as we envision them to be. Which is why, as a co-lead of the Networking Pillar of the network, I am currently working on a proposal for a Networking 101 series of workshops.
No secret – business networking is a hot topic. We are well aware that our members have access to all kinds of articles, blogs, books, even online courses that address issues related to this activity and offer sound advice. Although we will give attendees a brief overview of networking theory, the primary intent of these workshops is to allow them to practice the concepts in a safe, no-pressure environment among their peers. In addition, we are hoping to bring in guest speakers to share real-life anecdotes, best practices, and generate buzz around the events.
All workshops are stand alone, but will culminate in a Speed Networking event, where ERG members will have an opportunity to meet several members of the enterprise leadership team. Hopefully, after attending a couple of these workshops, our members are comfortable enough to not only speak with them at the event, but also reach out for perspective or guidance afterwards. Furthermore, we are not ruling a possibility of having additional workshops that will dive even deeper into what effective networking can evolve into for all of us.
What is your biggest networking challenge?
P.S. Check out Networking 101 Workshops, if you are interested to learn more about my “Networking 101” workshop series proposal (or my PowerPoint skills).