I recently came across this article about the delicate art of networking… in New Zealand.
I found it very refreshing how all of the points Susan Sinclair (a professional business facilitator and connector and former network manager for Kea, a “world class” New Zealanders’ organization) makes are consistent with what we talk about here in the U.S.
Specifically, I loved these quotes:
“It’s how you present yourself and your personal integrity. It’s not pitching to increase your business, just presenting yourself.” The art of networking is to “be genuine, be authentic and information sharing, be yourself.”
I talk about this with my Career Coaching clients all the time. You need to understand your brand and what sets you apart, be comfortable talking about yourself, and from there, let networking meetings go naturally. If you know who you are and what you have to offer – and can be sincere about it – your networking ventures will be so much more successful.
I recommend you read the rest of the article. I also loved Sinclair’s description of “the card thruster”, “the mercenary”, “the cling on” and “the bar hugger” – very entertaining ways to identify networking gone bad.