Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Connecting

How do we connect with people and build our networks?

To build networks, I have asked others to connect me to people whom they know, asked friends, and join professional groups. I do volunteer work in my community to broaden my networks. I try to give back.

I am a member of local groups like the Chamber of Commerce (which is very vibrant where I live), and a member of a number of professional organisations. I go to functions, I ask people to introduce me to others, and do the same back.

These days I use LinkedIn a lot, and to a lesser extent, Facebook (I usually keep Fb for personal contacts). I get to meet people through the LinkedIn groups, and get a feel for the landscape and tone of those places. I get to see what people's views are through their group likes, comments and posts. I ask people to connect with me if I like what I am seeing. Often people ask to connect with me.

Building a network takes time and a bit of investment: we have to be open, participate and be willing to risk a little.

The best thing about having a network is the ability to interrogate your own personal 'big data' source. It is amazing the responses, solutions and thoughtfulness that you get back.

You can also ask favours on behalf of others: for example, I have passed along colleague's or student's surveys to my network and have had a great response. In my experience, almost everyone is very happy to help.

Then we can all get that lovely warm collegial glow of making a difference, and being part of a vibrant community of interest :-D

Sam

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