Monday, November 24, 2008

Notes on Smart Networking

Thanks to Flo Lugli, who hosted the call on Friday while I was winging my way back from PhoCusWright.

Our special speaker was Liz Lynch, author of Smart Networking.

Here are the highlights from the call:

  • We are increasingly living in an information driven society, we can use networks to be filters for us so we don’t need to know everything.
  • Only constant is change—if we want to make changes in our jobs, networking can provide support for us. It is like an insurance policy for our career.
  • We need to create a plan to network—start with a purpose and approach strategically. What do I want to accomplish, Who can help me and where/how do I connect with them.
  • Some thoughts to connect---What do you do?, What brings you to the conference?
  • Some thoughts to disengage from a conversation---I enjoyed talking to you, I enjoyed meeting you, before I go can I have your card.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask someone if they know someone you want to meet and if they will introduce you, or offer to introduce them to someone that might help them.
  • Networking today vs yesterday---5-10 years ago networking was limited to face to face and while still very important, online sites now make connecting with people we’ve never met much easier. These are great tools to be used but still need to understand the fundamentals of building relationships (win/win, trust, etc.)
  • The challenge with online networking is deciding where to spend your time and keep from becoming addicted to it.
  • Question—how do you make the decision on whether to respond to an online request to connect? Depends upon your philosophy of how to use the sites. Linkedin for one reason, Facebook for another. Connecting with people you may not know allows you to be in the flow of information and can be a resource pool for you. If you want to ensure your request for connection is accepted, don’t use the default message, state why you want to connect.
  • Definition of networking—process of building and maintaining genuine supportive relationships with people who you are willing to help and whom are willing to help you
  • Smart Networking—way to build relationships—how to begin, how to build and how to do it without a lot of time. Goal is to make it easier and less time consuming
  • Need to master the “art of the ask”—choose who to ask and what/how to ask. Make request appropriate for the level of the relationship you have with the person. Ask for something easy, ask for advice on how to solve something and let them offer ways they can help.
  • One thing to better networking—put plan together, what am I trying to accomplish, who can help, how to engage with them.

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