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Networking Notes from the Field
Last week, I was honored to be a featured presenter for The Hive at Leichtag Commons professional development series.
With the holiday season on the horizon (who am I kidding? It’s here! Christmas music is playing in all of the stores already!) I offered my top tips for overcoming the most common complaints about networking. Interested in the details? You can check out the full workshop here.
Hopefully, your calendar is full of festive events over the next six weeks!
Events where you can meet new supporters for your cause, new volunteers for your organization’s programs and new friends who may become colleagues, or donors. If you’re anything like my coaching clients, you may also be experiencing some social anxiety about getting back out there, shaking hands, hugging folks and, well, acting like it’s 2019 again.
If that’s the case, here are a few prompts to help you navigate the anxiety and put a plan into action that supports you in growing your network.
- What is the source of my anxiety?
- What boundaries do I need to establish or hold to feel more comfortable?
- Am I prepared to talk about myself, my role, my organization?
Once you’ve given yourself a few precious moments of reflection, it’s time to put an action plan in place that feels feasible and helps ease your anxiety. Here are a few prompts to help you prepare for successful holiday networking.
- One event I am excited to attend is:
- At this event, I am looking forward to connecting with:
- Three open-ended questions I can use to keep conversations engaging are:
- Three things I want to share about myself and/or my organization are:
- If conversations feel awkward, I give myself permission to:
- Following the event, I will follow up with my new contacts by:
For those of you reading this who have decades of experience, this exercise may seem a bit remedial, but giving ourselves a few moments to think through our intentions can make a world of difference. If you know someone who might benefit from these suggestions, or the workshop linked above, please forward this message to them.
As always, I’m rooting for you and your success. Wishing you a joyful season of connection and community!