Passionate about networking.

Learn why Lisa Butler, Author of Networking exposed is so passionate about networking and why she embraced it.

The crowded function room of a large inner city hotel is filled with the loud hum of corporately attired guests entrenched in conversation. Glasses filled, introductions made, business discussed and cards exchanged………sounds like it could be any business networking event anywhere in the world.

For many people, this picture defines networking, and it’s not surprising this scenario is not terribly appealing to everyone – it certainly wasn’t appealing to me many years ago! It generates an air of insincerity and discomfort.

Networking is something I have had to learn to do, and I am so glad I did. I have been fortunate to experience the immense value of networking, in my business, career and my personal life. I am now its most passionate advocate.

When I started our business nine years ago the prospect of pounding the pavement looking for work sent shivers up my spine. So, I decided very quickly that growing the business through networking was much more enticing.

I became aware that networking in its truest form is very different to the situation described above. Truly effective networking is grounded in genuine interest in helping others. It is not about selling – in fact, I discovered that if I tried to sell while networking, it backfired spectacularly!  This approach appealed to my natural preference to give, rather than take from others.

Networking is rapidly being recognised as a critical business, career and leadership skill. Research has proven that at an operational level, an individual’s productivity is inextricably linked to their networking capability. The fortuitous networkers within organisations are reaping the rewards of hastened career progression, leadership opportunities, greater job satisfaction and business success. Those who aren’t so networking savvy are being left in their wake.

My high level tips for getting the most from networking are:

  1. Understand and appreciate that real nature of networking and embrace it!
  2. Be strategic and focused – you don’t have to go to a multitude of events. Network with the right people in the right places to help you to achieve your goals (your business, career and personal goals).
  3. Maintain contact with people – this is the sign of a good networker. The key is to make sure you are being helpful and relevant for people.
  4. Have a good system to keep relevant records of your contacts – this will make it easier and more efficient to keep in touch with people.