Making Knowledge Work

December 4, 2010

Networking with Santa (LIKE 20)

Filed under: Uncategorized — virginiahenry @ 9:40 pm

It might seem odd that November’s LIKE focussed on networking.

We’re a pretty successful network, after all: each month the events are booked to capacity, and everyone gets along like old pals – even if they’ve only just met!

Lots of people who come to our events say how relaxed and welcoming they feel.  That is SO good to hear, because that’s what we set out to create – an open, relaxed and welcoming forum in which professionals could get together, learn from each other and enjoy one another’s’ company.

But LIKE 20 wasn’t about networking at LIKE.  It was – well, here’s the billing for the evening:

Lesley Robinson has never applied for a job in her illustrious working life. All of her roles – from running the specialist recruitment agency, TFPL, to running KPMG’s transformation programme and consulting for lots of big city firms – have been acquired by recommendation. Her career is a testimony to the power of effective networking, and she’s going to help us get really good at it!

We know (Jennifer, Marja and me) – because it happens to us – that there are many types of networking events and opportunities,  and at many of them you find yourself standing with a glass in one hand and a canapé in the other looking around at a room full of strangers.  You might be lucky enough to spot a familiar face, but even if you do, you can’t latch on to that person for the entire evening – you’re there to network!  So, how to do it?

That’s where the expert advice of an expert networker such as Lesley comes in useful.  She was brilliant – commanding the attention of the packed upstairs room at The Crown with a near whisper (not done for effect – the consequence of a cold!).  She explained how your attitude and expectations will dictate your experience of networking (if your approach is not “what can these people do for me?”, but “how can I help the people I meet?” your experience will be far more successful and satisfying).  She showed us how to, winningly, insinuate ourselves into a conversing group of strangers.  And her tips on demeanour had us all standing more upright and holding our heads higher.  When we had a go at the practical exercises – of introducing ourselves, finding common ground with someone else, and moving on to repeat the ice-breaking with yet another person – not one of us mumbled or stumbled or headed for a corner to hide…..

Richard Nelsson’s blog post about the evening is worth reading, and he has a link there to Lesley’s 10 top tips for effective networking.

LIKE 20 ended with the promised ‘networking with Santa’.  Folk were a bit distracted by then as the buffet and another round of drinks had arrived – but some Xmas cards were swapped.  The cards contained promises of “gifts” of knowledge to be exchanged.  I’m really looking forward to unwrapping mine – in return for some help with KM engagement strategies, Nikki West is going to share her knowledge of Records Management with me.   Can’t remember what Roger Farbey’s gift is to be – maybe a nice box of choc’s if you’re reading this Roger 🙂

1 Comment »

  1. Chocs it is 🙂

    Comment by Roger Farbey — December 5, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

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