Networking is all around us, and whether we realise it or not, we all network in one form or another pretty much every day – both online, and face to face! Of course, business networking takes a little more planning and thought. Recently our very own Gary Gamp, founder of The Company Doctor, recorded a very special podcast with Stephanie Lynch-Habib who is a global leader in the technology sector, with over 25 years of experience, so she definitely knows a thing or two about successful networking! Here are the key take-outs from the podcast – we hope you’ll find them insightful and useful.
Leveraging your network for professional reasons can feel a daunting task if you’re not used to it – but it doesn’t have to be.
Stephanie suggests that your first step should be to set out a clear objective. Are you looking to get business? Are you trying to learn and expand your portfolio of knowledge so you can be successful in your career? Do you want to create a solid agenda of connections who can help you up your game?
Once you’ve figured out what your goals are, it’s time to think how best to get there.
Arguably, in-person events offer the greatest opportunity for networking because they are multi-sensory and enable people to connect at different levels – as opposed to virtual events, which can sometimes feel more transactional. Stephanie recommends stepping outside your comfort zones and communities not only can this help you empathise better with a wider range of people, but it will also help to build your confidence.
Gary Gamp agrees wholeheartedly. “Be fully present”, is his sage advice. You never know when an interesting opportunity might arise, and you don’t want to miss out. And, while Stephanie suggests easing into these events, “I think it’s more important that we listen and observe first before jumping into the mix ourselves”.
If you’re an introvert who has trouble approaching new groups of people at events like these, why not take someone with you? This takes the immediate pressure off you and will enable you to engage with others alongside someone you know and trust.
To learn more about this topic listen to the full podcast here.