Networking skills


Building lasting relationships

Building and maintaining relationships is a central part of your working life. We will be looking at two dimensions of this:

  • How to network
  • How to be effective within a team

The importance of networking

Networking is about developing and maintaining contacts with a variety of people who might be helpful to you and your career.

A networking event is about meeting new people who may be of help to you and exchanging phone numbers and email addresses.

REFLECT

Think about a few people who you consider to be successful. Have they achieved their success on their own or have they been supported by a well-developed network?

How do you start networking?

Here are few ideas to develop your network:

  • Attending events. These events can be used to update yourself on your expertise, share best practice or ask for advice on specific issues
  • Attending meetings and getting involved in various projects. This can expand your understanding of your business as a whole
  • Attending training events
  • Taking part in working groups
  • Keeping in touch with people you studied with, or tutors who taught you

Networking presents a range of benefits:

  • Facilitating job transition (making contacts, hearing about vacancies)
  • Keeping up to date with best practice
  • Problem solving. A conversation with an expert may help you when you are faced with business problems that exceed your capacity.
  • Continuing your professional development plan (PDP). Keeping in touch with knowledgeable people and discussing their fields of expertise can be rich source of information for you.
  • Gaining other contacts

Make your networking event a success

The 10 Commandments of Business Networking

Mark McGregor

1) Thou shalt drop the "what is in it for me?" attitude.
2) Thou shalt listen.
3) Thou shalt build a relationship.
4) Thou shalt give the first referral.
5) Thou shalt not tell others of the referral you require; thou shalt "show them" with a story.
6) Thou shalt be specific of the type of referral.
7) Thou shalt reciprocate when appropriate.
8) Thou shalt participate in the network executive, functions, and network time.
9) Thou shalt thank the person who gave a referral.
10) Thou shalt follow up on the referral within 24 hours.