Saturday, February 18, 2012

How To Feel Comfortable Networking

The other night I held a meeting about networking for the NYC Chapter of The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW).  As the Director of the Mentorship Committee, I get to select the topic for our monthly meetings.  When I  invited the members to a meeting entitled, "How To Take The Work Out of Networking", I received an overwhelming response.  Not surprising.  It seems everyone wants to become more skilled and feel more comfortable networking.  So many people are shy or feel awkward about it and it feels like an overwhelming task.

The meeting was a tremendous success.  Rather than have 20 women go around the room and introduce themselves and what they do, I asked them to bring their favorite T-Shirt, hat or any object of significance they could share with the group. And share they did.  It was the perfect ice breaker.  Most people like talking about themselves in a more natural setting and this was the perfect opportunity.  It's amazing how people will open up when they feel comfortable.  

After the introductions, I asked the group if they knew what we had been doing in the last hour.  Everyone looked at each other and asked, "have we been networking?"  Everyone was so engaged in each other's story, no one realized that we were actually networking.  That's exactly what I was hoping would happen.  I wanted the group to recognize that there is no mystery in networking.   The act of networking is about having a conversation and being engaged by listening and asking questions.  Networking is a two way street.  I talk, you listen.   You talk and I listen.  Amazing, right?

If you want to network but don't want it to feel like "work", look at it as having a conversation and opportunity to get to know another person.  You just might enjoy it.  The women at my meeting apparently did.  I couldn't get them to stop talking!

"The way of the world is meeting people through other people."
~ Robert Kerrigan


"Good Night, And Good Luck"

Laura Rivchun

2 comments:

  1. I have clients who would love to have some one-on-one training with you.
    How would someone reach you for this? What kind of individual or group coaching do you offer? People love your insights.
    (It would be helpful if you routinely offered that information at the end of your posts.)
    Thanks for all the good information!
    Susan

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  2. Hi Susan,

    You've made a very good point and I appreciate your interest in my services and expertise.

    I encourage readers to contact me about a particular career topic, concern or in response to a post I've written. I'm always available for a one on one discussion. I can be contacted at lrcareercoach@gmail.com.

    Thank you for the feedback!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete