Most people would agree that networking is good for business. Research shows that 85% of business people build stronger, more meaningful business relationships in person. The benefits are obvious; it’s a great way of finding talent, clients and partners.
However, for many people networking is not only very difficult, it is also dreaded. We’ve all experienced the uncomfortable feeling of walking into a meet-and-greet event; it feels awkward, contrived and inauthentic. We may be lucky enough to rush away, cringing with just a few business cards. So why set much store in it?
Part of the problem is we perceive networking in a narrow sense; specifically, as a room full of strangers into which we must flog ourselves to each other. We need to redefine what networking is and see it as part of a much broader range of activities with a long lifespan, underpinned by some common principles of interpersonal communications. We also need to shift our attitudes towards networking and genuinely see its value so that we feel inspired to connect with people authentically.
Our coaching focuses on both our perceptions and attitudes to networking, followed by learning essential skills that will help us to connect with people effortlessly and productively in any situation. We use practical exercises and simulations as well as teaching fundamental so that delegates leave brimming with innovative, practical tips and a newfound enthusiasm for networking.
We provide regular networking sessions for a large commercial business that relies heavily on its people bringing in new client leads. At the start of every session, we ask delegates by a show of hands if they enjoy networking. Only about one in fifteen people raise their hands. By the end of each session, the apprehension and fear have dissolved, and the participants all show a transformative change in how empowered they feel and how eager they are to apply these skills in the real world.