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The value of being networked (or why I hate networking)

An email newsletter arrived in my Inbox from Sarah Taylor this morning and it reminded me of how much I loathe “networking events”.

Sarah said: “I’m one of those people who’s always said networking just isn’t my thing.

And yet when I reflected on my disinterest (which is really resistance and fear!!) I realised that my amazing network of incredible people, fellow entrepreneurs, business colleagues, ex-work mates and fantastic organisations is one of the most important and powerful parts of my life and now my business too.

Who am I kidding when I say I don’t ‘do’ networking, I must do it or I wouldn’t have such a wonderful network!

I loathe “networking events”, as those who know me would probably guess from my personality type! However, I’ve long taken the view that it’s important to be “networked”, rather than to force-fit myself to go to networking events. I even designed and ran a half-day networking skills workshop for a client:

https://www.slideshare.net/ianjseath/networking-skills-workshop

This includes a simple networking plan with 4 stages:

  • Map your network
  • Identify your critical connections
  • Engage and add value
  • Develop and grow your network

I’m a member of all sorts of formal and informal professional networks both in the real world and online. I would never go to a “networking event” but I regularly organise and attend events and meetings where I can learn more and extend the value of my network.

My thanks to Sarah for her reminder and insights!

P.S. Sending a LinkedIn connection invitation in order to try to sell me something absolutely isn’t networking.

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