The thought of networking fills many people with dread, they picture themselves alone at a conference with nothing to say or it falls to the bottom of the To Do list for busy executives. It’s true that meeting new people in a professional environment can sometimes be uncomfortable, but building relationships with customers, competitors, regulators and other stakeholders is important to career success, so this month think of ways you can build these relationships.
Successful people have strong and broad networks with people they trust to discuss issues, ask for advice and reciprocate by offering their help when required. Being well connected in your organisation and wider industry helps you better understand different perspectives, enables a deeper understanding of interpersonal relationships and their effect in a business environment and importantly, it also opens doors to new ideas and opportunities.
Networking is about building and strengthening these relationships – it’s good for your career and can open your mind to ideas, experience and possibilities that you could never have imagined. A strong network can also be the difference that sets you apart from the pack when the next opportunity arises.
This month reflect on your profile and network. Who needs to know you and your work for you to perform well? Be strategic. Complete the questions in the Profile and Network Activity section.