9 Keys to Strengthen and Maintain Your Professional Network in 2015
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Shona Rowan Performance Consulting

9 Keys to Strengthen and Maintain Your Professional Network in 2015

In the past few months I have been asked to run several networking events for my big clients in London. Some have been internal events to help my clients get to know people in other departments, work more collaboratively with colleagues, and break down silo mentality. Other clients have asked me to facilitate “speed networking” events for their key clients which undoubtedly lead to stronger business to business relationships and open up many new opportunities.

I really enjoying running these events because although many people arrive feeling hesitant or unsure, they always leave saying how much fun it was and how worthwhile networking events are. I guess deep down we all know that networking is absolutely key to success and satisfaction at work.
In today’s newsletter I have included 9 keys to help you build and maintain your professional network in 2015. Read through the list below and consider which points are potential strengths or development areas for you and your team.

  • Make it a priority. Networking is often one of the first things that falls away when we are busy, yet it is absolutely to key to success in business. Remind yourself that networking is a key business activity and make time for it in your diary.
  • Take action. What can you do this week to consciously build your internal or external network? Join a network, go to social drinks, get on LinkedIn, volunteer for a project and get involved in projects outside your immediate team. You MUST take action to build your internal and external network.
  • Reciprocity leads to success. Give first, refer others, help people achieve their goals and it will come back to you. Most people think of networking in terms of 'what they can gain' or 'what’s in it for them'. The best way of building a strong network is to think how you can best help/give/support others. Invest first.
  • Watch out for negative/unhelpful thoughts and beliefs about networking. What do you believe about the idea of networking? If you see it as cheesy, unnecessary or a waste of time, you probably won’t be very motivated to do it. See networking as a great way to meet people, to build your visibility, your brand and your business. Look for win-win relationships and collaborations.
  • First impressions tend to stick. You have less than 10 seconds to make a great first impression! How do you come across? Sometimes we have only a short window of time to connect with someone. We must make sure we put our best foot forward to maximise every opportunity we have to build our network.
  • Trust and respect are key to networking. Not surprisingly, people want to work with people they know, like and TRUST, so beware of anything that could damage your reputation.
  • Maintain your network. Meeting someone once does not mean a lot. It takes time to build and strengthen relationships. How do you follow up after you get a business card or meet someone at a networking event? There are so many ways to stay in touch via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, sending them information you think might interest them, or calling to catch up for lunch/coffee. Find genuine reasons to stay in touch.
  • Be patient and remember that building a relationship with someone takes time. Networking is a process, a long term game, and not just something you DO sometimes. Learn to enjoy the process.
  • Finally - remember that skills and hard work are not enough to create a successful and fulfilling career, success and satisfaction at work come through relationships!

If you would like me to facilitate an internal networking event or an open client event for your firm, please email info@shonarowan.co.uk for more information.

See www.shonarowan.co.uk for more information on raising personal or organisational performance.
To your success and happiness!


Diversity and Peak Performance Consultant

Maximising potential and accelerating success in the corporate arena



Inspirational Quotes

Networking remains the primary technique that people use to find new jobs, change careers, or land on their feet after being laid off

What is Peak Performance Consulting?

It's about maximising potential, accelerating success and improving business results through bespoke workshops, conferences and/or personalised one-to-one coaching sessions.

Get in touch

To find out more about any of our programmes, or to enquire about building a bespoke conference or workshop presentation, please contact Shona:

T: +44 (0)793 325 3043
E: info@shonarowan.co.uk
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