Kate Row: Networking
Kate Row: Networking
Queen's Young Leader, Kate Row takes us through her presentation on expanding and making the most of networks.
Networking is all about building your tribe. Your network is the people you connect with. It can be both online and in-person. Networking is building connections that matter. This can be for personal success and career or business growth. I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know.”
I've been fortunate to have been involved with a number of networks over the last few years. Who are your key networks? Shout them out. Who are some interesting people you’ve met through them?
Why networking works
The world is increasingly fast-moving and more open and accessible than ever. We need to continually innovate in any profession to keep ahead. Networking:
- works – Harvard Business Review found that executives who constantly rank in the top 20% on performance and wellbeing have diverse but select networks made up of high-quality relationships with people from different spheres and up and down the corporate hierachy
- accelerates your career and increases your employability and progression
- is fun, exciting and interesting
- leads to fantastic opportunities
- helps people get jobs through their loose acquaintances
- is a source of fresh ideas and collaborations.
Let’s test the theory on the six degrees of separation. It is even fewer degrees of separation nowadays.
- Who do you want to meet?
- What type of person could get you closer to your long-term goals? Or help with your five- or ten-year goal or plan?
- What are three things you want to achieve in the next five years? Who are people who have done that or something else that could help you get there?
List them on a whiteboard.
Write to one person you are not sure will right back and ask if you can see them for a coffee for 20 minutes. Or have a short phone call with them, or lunch. Aim high. Go right to the top. You will be surprised. You’re in a great position. It would be a shame not to reach your potential.
Get clear on you – take ownership of your goals and dreams. Be clear so you can make the right decisions and meet the right people to take you there. Understand your values, identify your strengths and work so you can be your true authentic self. Then you can network with conviction, exchange value and make purposeful connections.
There is science in networking. Anthropologist Robin Dunbar said the limit to the number of relationships a human can comfortable maintain is 150. It takes mental effort to remember names, keep in contact and do each other favours.
Let’s take a look at the current state of your personal network. This is your “my people” audit.
Fill in the worksheet circles. This should be your dream team. You are in the middle. Your closest surrounds are your inner circle. You then have different types of relationships in your network, with different objectives and frequencies and qualities:
- "Promoters" are your personal champions and inspiration
- "Pit crew" keep you on track and nurture you
- "Teachers" expand your knowledge and wisdom and push you to know more every day
- "Butt-kickers" hold you accountable for your actions and decisions.
- Draw your network and how you keep in touch with them. Think about your network – this is your circle of influence, your community.
What is working? What is not working as well as it could be? Who are you missing? Who could you engage on a deeper level? Who is serving no purpose and you don’t enjoy their company? Build an effective network. Be strategic, smart and ensure your key people are who you want to be your key people.
Ten top tips
1. Think and say, "How can we help each other?"
Think win-win. There's a saying, “Those who ask for money get advice, and those who ask for advice get money.” Seek mutually beneficial relationships. Ask how you could help them.
2. Make yourself find-able
Unless you put yourself out there, people will not know you are there. I used to be told put your goals on the fridge or mirror – somewhere you can see it everyday. I’d say go one step further.
3. Tell people your goals
People are not mind-readers or telepathic. Come up with a method to achieve your goals. Plant a seed. Water it. Send people something when you think of them. Invite them to an event with you.
4. Make better introductions and connect others
Give people opportunities without pushing your agenda and connect opportunities among your networks.
5. Be a human being first
People want to chat and connect with those they enjoy spending time with. Personalise the approach. Write to get a reply even if they are busy and important people. Show you get them, you're on a similar journey, you agree with them or would like to support them. Why would they want to speak with you now? Why?
6. Target the individuals you wish to reach out to
7. Step outside your industry
8. Think about timing
For example, making a phone call. When are you more likely to catch them? Early or late? Mobile numbers are now widely available on Linkedin profiles, down the right-hand side, arrow down box. Email. Ask for an event’s guest list before. Then maximise your time there meeting those of interest.
9. Ask interesting questions every day
And you’ll get amazing, interesting ideas and answers.
10. Nurture your network
Leverage and give back. Be an action taker. Exchange value.