Monday, November 28

Fwd: networking

Whilst we were doing your spring week work assessments and questions over the past couple of days, you mentioned networking…Coincidentally, I was at a networking dinner yesterday and met Luca uncle there. And there picked up this little leaflet on networking skills class. Well, don't think I need to do this, but thought of dropping you a line about my thoughts on this. 
It's a strange thing and I am a bit schizoid about it all. In one way, I hate the waste of time and on the other hand, I love meeting new people and discussing various elements to this. But it can take up loads of time, son. And whenever I mentor people, I tell them that they have to be brutal and honest about how much time you spend on networking as a significant amount of networking is wasted. Most of it is because people don't know how to network. And wasting time is criminal. 
As the picture shows, how you prepare for the networking is crucial. You have to pick and choose the events you go to, don't go to ones just because, but to ones which really will make a difference in the next 6 months, if not, ignore them. You have to be dressed appropriately. Just like you will not wear a suit to a networking event which is in the marshes, you shouldn't wear a pair of jeans when going to a bankers session. And be comfortable son, people can make out very easily if you are comfortable in your skin. Shoes, very important, they allow you to be comfortable and stand around for a long time. 
Rest of the points you can take a look, fairly straightforward. Approach people straight off, don't be shy or embarrassed. Go up and talk quickly. But remember names, have a little pad and pencil handy or use your smartphone to make a note of the name, connect with them on LinkedIn or email, and then drop them a note the day after so that they remember. After a month or so, if you find them of value, ask to meet up for a coffee to further explore something that they said. People love to talk about their work and their ideas, and there's nothing like a little 1-2-1 with some flattery J. Linked in is a very powerful tool so do use that J
Think of these points whilst you are at the ski trip son, you are meeting peers who will be your network in the future, understand what they do, where are they coming from, where are they going. Oh! And start helping them. Remember the godfather, son, collect favours as many as possible. Don't worry about repayment, just collect favours as many as possible. They will pay off son. 
Yesterday I was talking with a police commissioner who wanted to know how to improve policing and we got into a discussion on how to generate new ideas. Few years back, I helped a little charity get off the ground in Africa and India in a tiny way and that helps school teachers come up with good ideas and with a tiny bit of funding helps to increase the impact of those ideas. So I could bring that idea to the police commissioner and we are going to speak more about this to see if we can adapt that idea for the police here in England. Small thing, son, but you never know where your favours end up.. J

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