Professional networking: Turning colleagues into allies
If we engage in professional networking, we'll never feel isolated. Question is, how do you turn colleagues into allies?
Whilst at one of the monthly meeting groups I attend, I was looking across the eighty or so other coaches and it struck me how important it was for me as a solo operator to have this professional network. The other thing that struck me was how little I really use it for professional networking! And I also thought that was a bit dumb since relationships are supposed to be my thing.
I thought to myself that just because I am in business by myself, for myself, I don’t have to go it alone. In fact if I want to get anywhere with my business (or in any area of life for that matter), I need to utilize and leverage my relationships to achieve my goals.
A great business idea is only a great idea once you can engage other people to support it and generate some action. So here’s a little exercise to do to assess how good you are at professional networking and how well you are utilizing and leveraging your relationships.
"A great business idea is only a great idea once you can engage other people to support it and generate some action."
Give your self a score out of 10 on how well you are achieving the following (10 is high, 1 is low):
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- Are you clear on who the people around you are that you need to help you achieve your business objectives? E.g. clients, business support, personal support, mentors or coaches
- Are you clear on what, specifically, these people need to do to support you to achieve your business objectives?
- Do these people know this?
- Finally, do these people have all the required resources (information, time, language and motivation) to support you to achieve your business objectives?
Your scores will make you aware of the gaps you need to fill; while an 8 out of 10 is a great score, 2 out of 10 highlights the areas you need to work on.
Something the presenter said at the meeting rings true here “Work in your strengths and work on your weaknesses” Made sense to me. Anyway, after last night’s meeting I’m off to rev up some key people to help me reach my objectives. What relationship are you going to work on?