Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Models for Networking, Growing into a Role

I was catching up with my news reader, looking through all the RSS feeds I've subscribed to (if someone can point me to a news reader that allows you to organize your feeds into folders and subfolders, I would love it) and came across a post by Lisa Haneberg on the Six Essentials for Networking, reprinted from an article by Christine Comaford-Lynch.

I was particularly struck by Christine's advice on how to work a networking event:

  • timebox your networking

  • set your goal

  • let your intuition guide you

  • connect

  • offer help and follow-through

The "connect" advice was the best, to connect with people by asking them questions, such as:

How did you get started in your field? What’s your ideal customer? We all
love to talk about ourselves, and these questions will not only help you form a
connection with this person, but will also tell you how to help them.

I have to admit that Christine's suggestion that I choose a plant as my daily teacher took me aback. But then I remember that wonderful tree I met once on the Appalachian Trail (no, this isn't a picture of it, but it gives you the idea). The trail at that point came across a boulder-strewn ridge, and the ridge ended in a ten-foot drop. This old and well-worn tree had grown next to the end of the ridge, and it provided a handy ladder for climbing around this drop. In essence, the Appalachian Trail went up and down this tree, and every person who hiked the trail had climbed this tree. Its branches had grown in such a way that they made a sort of staircase.

I had the distinct impression that at some level the tree knew the role it played in the trail, and that it had grown into the role. (Not only that, but it was offering help and following through with everyone it met, with no expectation of any return favor!) I suppose you can learn something from a plant.

I recommend reading Lisa Haneberg's Management Craft blog, and I think I'll start watching out for Christine as well. There's lots of other good advice there.


Unknown said...

Newsgator is an excellent newsreader that allows you to create folders and sub-folders. I've been using it for about a year or so and it works very well.

Hope this helps!

Karen Diamond

Oliver Picher said...

Thanks, Karen. Jeff Nolan has recently started working with Newsgator and has been blogging a lot about it lately. Newsgator was certainly on my radar screen to check out, but I hadn't had a chance to get to it yet. I'll make it a priority.