Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Networking, the Secret to Success . . .

Okay, that introduction may be a little on the strong side, admittedly, but how many of you work at networking?

You can probably say that you go to this meeting, or that meeting, tourism association meetings and the like, but do you really “work” them with the aim of expanding your network, or, do you go because you feel obliged to go, and then, once you’re there, you gravitate to the same one or two people that you know the best.

I know, I see it all the time, even within a Hotel itself. I have hosted more than my share of events and as I am circulating about the room, invariably I will see the majority of the Department Heads or Sales Managers clumped together, talking to each other.

Then of course, one of two things happen; they either see me approaching and disperse in anticipation of my request to do same, or, they don’t and when I approach them and ask them what they are doing, they say; “we don’t know anyone here.”

Needless to say, what follows is a gentle “nudge” into the crowd with the request that they go and introduce themselves to someone, anyone, and then next time, they WILL know someone in the room. More importantly, they will have expanded their network and with that comes exposure to that persons network, potentially, and so on.

I have to admit, I am writing this today, to some degree influenced by the recent recognition that I wasn’t doing as much as I could to keep expending my network, all the time, and especially as it relates to expanding into the new social networks, and those of you on my Linked In profile know what I’m talking about because I have been on somewhat of a quest of late to make sure that I was Linked In to as many people as I potentially could be, for obvious reasons.

I realized that while I continue to attend and “work” a great number of functions, I had gotten complacent about adding to my “electronic” networking and was therefore potentially missing opportunities, and nothing gets me moving faster than thinking I am missing an opportunity.

It was a bit of a wake up call for me, thinking about networking in a different, perhaps even non traditional way, but clearly it is also the more current and timely way to reach people, stay connected, and work your network.

Think about your own network, are you doing everything that you can to build up this resource?

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