DOD’s blog: Time to network differently

Earlier this month I popped along to the inaugural meeting of the Independent Women in Insurance Network (iWIN).

Debi O'Donovan editor Employee Benefits 2013 (305 x 240)

I had no idea what to expect (other than a really early morning – it started at 8am!).

However, the main talk by Julia Hobsbawm, a visiting professor at Cass Business School and the world’s first professor of networking, was extremely useful. (By the way, she has also just completed a series for BBC Radio 4 on networking, Networking Nation

Given that we all have to network – or at least talk to strangers as some point – as part of our jobs, her advice is worth sharing:

  1. Network face-to-face – look people in the eye and get to know where they are coming from.
  2. Don’t stick to specialist networks – you’ll get stuck in them.
  3. Be as diverse as possible in your networking, reading, socialising – randomness will change your thinking, get you a new job, new relationship or so on.
  4. Upgrade your relationships with people you already know, don’t keep running round meeting new people – 150 is considered to be the maximum number of people we each know.
  5. Knowledge is important – this helps you make connections with new people.
  6. Expand your thinking by what you read or what you watch – go to different sources (e.g. Al Jazeera, Russia Today or CNN for news).

Of course I’ll still network in specialist groups and of course I will still be keen to meet new people, but I also intend to follow the points above in order to focus my networking efforts more effectively.

So I look forward to seeing my fellow networkers in due course to talk about all the unusual things you have discovered outside the world of employee benefits.

Happy networking!

Debi O’Donovan


Employee Benefits 

Twitter: @DebiODonovan