Networking with Cathy Posey

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Networking with Cathy Posey

Cathy kindly invited me to comment on networking… Travelling to much, I do get to practice a lot!

Airbus A380 (F-WWDD) painted in full Emirates ...

Airbus A380 (F-WWDD) painted in full Emirates Airlines colors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It did take a while to write this up. Thanks to a long trip from Perth, Australia to Dubai on I was able to write a draft… and then polish it from Dubai to Houston on a looong 16+ hrs flight…  Here it is…

Networking is not about meeting people but about expanding your horizons wisely. Here are three basic rules to start:

1.    Ask.

We usually network because we want something from others. Define what it is. If you don’t know why you are networking, you will be unproductive. Get clear on what you want.

2.     Offer.

The rule of networking is reciprocity. Other people are networking because they want something! Define what you can give: purchases, partnerships, returns on investments, expertise, advice, mentoring, etc. Remember that the world also needs you. If you don’t know what you are offering, you will be unproductive (or worse, overpromise).

3.     Balance.

I have a genuine interest in people, but I don’t have unlimited time. I also recognize that networking does not depend on me only. Some people are desperate to take and take, or to give and give. That is not authentic, and bores immensely. Do your best to keep a balance.

To excel however, there are some unwritten rules:

4.    Enjoy it!

Even if you are prepared, be open to surprises. Networking provides immense learning opportunities. Listen. Try to keep your internal conversations quiet. You don’t need to agree or disagree with what others say. Ask why, ask why a lot.

5.     Seed.

You never know the impact of your connection on the spot. Use a networking event to plant seeds and reconnect later. It is a starting point.  Make notes about the people you meet on their cards so you don’t forget details.

6.     Be authentic.

Don’t over praise or criticize, you are not there to judge or be judged, but to explore. You don’t need to be liked by everyone or like everyone. Be proud of your achievements and humble about your challenges.

Like everything else in life, practice makes perfect!

Don’t forget to  join Cathy if you are around…

http://schedule.sxsw.com/2013/events/event_IAP993530

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By |February 22nd, 2013|Categories: Blog|1 Comment

About the Author:

Alicia Castillo Holley is an international speaker and researcher on innovation, entrepreneurship, and venture capital.

One Comment

  1. Emma May 14, 2014 at 4:11 am

    When networking in my chosen career, I will only reach out a hand to those I feel have something of quality to share. What ever someone offers, has to be useful to the people I can share it with.
    When networking and offering leverage to another person, it carries your reputation with it, so people need to trust that what you are sharing with them is worth their time.
    This may not go for all but it does in my circles. That is not to say it only gets shared if I like it, it is whether it will provide the services they promise.
    For example, I won’t network and connect up an artist offering graphic design when they can’t even draw stickmen.
    Even worse are the conmen that want to network, it is our duty to halt them for the sake of all with a good reputation, they damage the industry. I think this all falls under your point 6 of ” be authentic”, so at least I know I have some things right, even if I do need to polish up a bit.
    Thank you again for some great points.

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