A month of networking

Sounds like torture, doesn’t it? But writer Rachel Gillett did it so you don’t have to – and yet you may want to take her advice. She documents the whole month so do read the full piece but here’s why she did it plus the opening of week one:

I spent the past month doing something most people dread: networking.

As an introvert, the month-long challenge to work my way up to being a superconnector was both a painfully difficult and surprisingly rewarding experience.

During the first week of the challenge, I eased into networking by inviting coworkers to lunch. This low-pressure situation promised to help us practice our conversation skills. I asked my coworker Rose to invite another colleague, David, to join us for lunch—and on the walk to our lunch spot I felt very deeply the true awkwardness of this scenario.

I think we were all aware of the social connotation when someone asks you to lunch. One can’t help but wonder, what’s the motivation here, what’s the angle? So as we sat down to eat, I wanted to dispel any fears of a hidden agenda. Our networking lunch was simply an occasion to get out of the office, get to know each other better. After brushing the initial awkwardness aside, we enjoyed a delicious family-style meal of somosas, saag paneer, chicken tikka masala, lamb korma, and naan. We ate like kings, kvetched like yentas, and it was great.

“Be you, be real,” Judy Robinett, author of How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule, suggested during our live chat. “Connections happen on a personal level first. You want folks with a good head, good heart, and good gut.”

My Painful (And Sometimes Fun) Month Of Networking – Rachel Gillett, Fast Company (16 March 2015)

Read the full piece.

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