As a business owner, we often have it drummed into us that you need to go out and network, make new connections and get yourself and your business brand out to as many relevant people as possible. In addition, we are advised to connect on linked in with a wide range of connections in order to ensure we are found easily online and again, build up our networks.
As a true introvert, I am not a fan of networking. I often find myself hiding in the bathroom or standing alone feeling awkward, desperately looking for someone to connect with. At the beginning of my career as a confidence coach, I used to force myself to attend networking events but in all honesty looking back, I don’t think I connected with anyone who I am still in touch with today.
At the most recent event I attended as a guest speaker, it was interesting for me to hear about other people’s view and experiences of networking. For some, it was a case of trying to meet as many people as possible who could help them progress their career. For others, it was trying to find people in their industry to do business with.
Sadly, I didn’t hear many people speak of the need to make heart based connections – those based on getting to know the person they are connecting with as a human being – rather than only choosing to connect with the people that perhaps would be useful for your career or business.
Don’t get me wrong – everyone is entitled to connect with who they want and in the manner that works for them – but I did walk away from this event feeling quite sad about perhaps the depth of connections made.
Fortunately, I gave myself permission many years ago not to attend any networking events and now do things my own way. This often involves connecting with someone who just ‘feels good’ to me or someone the universe decides to put in my path. I have also found in doing things this way, it tends to be more of a two way relationship and more heartfelt – with no need to win them over or hope that they will want to connect with me.
What about you? What do you prefer?
Lisa Phillips is a Confidence Coach based in Sydney. Lisa features regularly in the media and is a popular speaker on the topics of empowerment and confidence. For more information, please see www.amazingcoaching.com.au
Photo Credit: http://sanantonio.uli.org/