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Learning to network with purpose

I had a call this week from Lynette Palmen at Women’s Network Australia.  Nothing unusual in itself… Lynette was phoning because a potential client had mentioned they had a relationship with sphinxx, and she was calling to for a reference.  Or is it unusual?


Lynette is what I’d call a master networker.  She lives the brand of her business, and makes the most of her contacts to achieve more than is physically possible for one person alone. In less than 5 minutes we’d covered all the usual pleasantries and the good, the bad and the ugly of the potential client.


We all have the ability to do this.  So why don’t we?  When I’m facilitating women’s forums in organisations, I often talk with women about the need to network with purpose.  To build and maintain relationships, to offer assistance where you can, and to ask for help where you need it.  Having grown up in a small town in the country, I don’t know any different but to do this.  Yet I know for many women, networking doesn’t come naturally.


Here’s the thing I do know:  men network with purpose.  They rarely attend events or functions with the goal of meeting new contacts; because they know they can usually find what they need within their existing networks.  They believe in the magic of 6 degrees of separation, and use it to their advantage.


We could too… if we chose to.


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