Confident Networking is a new project that Gael has developed in conjunction with her husband Stuart.
The springboard for the project is two books. The first, Confident Networking – for Career Success and Satisfaction, was published in October 2005. The second on how to use Confident Networking to make new friends will be published in the Autumn of 2006.
What exactly is Confident Networking
Our understanding of a network is that it is a web of relationships that have the potential to be mutually helpful and mutually trusting. When you are networking, you are either building or maintaining these relationships by interacting socially with others.
The best business and career networks all function in basically the same way, even though their membership may span the globe. They provide both formal and informal opportunities for the development of long-term social relationships between colleagues, clients and competitors. They encourage the sharing of personal and work-related information, which will build trust and facilitate the successful exchanges of goods and services whenever such needs arise. They also function as insurance against a rainy day. When you are part of such a strongly connected web of mutually supportive relationships (even internet-only based ones), you have a greater sense of personal security. You know that there will always be someone there to advise and help you meet unwelcome as well as welcome challenges.
In our experience, we find that many people also have misguided ideas about confidence in relation to networking. They think that the most confident networkers are the big talkers and charismatic leaders and innovators. It is a common assumption that they are the people you would see chatting animatedly to all and sundry in a room of 1,000 strangers. The truth is that highly outgoing networkers such as these could be confident, or they may not be. From our experience of having had hundreds and hundreds of confidential consultations with just such people, we know that it is likely that a fair number of the ‘big talkers’ in such situations will be not be truly confident. Indeed, they may be inwardly terrified. They could be simply bluffing their way around the room, desperately trying to bolster up their shaky self-esteem by getting more and more people to like them or look up to them.
The most self-assured people in this imaginary room of 1,000 strangers could well be those interacting in the shadows of the limelight. They could have confidently chosen to stay glued to a corner and engage in deep one-to-one conversation with a carefully selected new contact because that is how they know they network best. In contrast, such people, although they may be considered ‘quiet types’, would not be driven by inner fears and personal insecurity. They would know what they want to gain from networking and have the self-belief and social competence to use the strengths of their introvert personality to build the kind of relationships they need.
True self-confidence develops when you are repeatedly successful while at the same time genuinely being ‘yourself’ and being the kind of person you can respect. Your successes can be large or small and your style of operating can be highly conspicuous or not. It can also involve great numbers of people or just a very few.
Our new book, workshops and coaching services are designed to help each individual network confidently in their own unique style.
You may be wondering why we have included some odd looking creatures on these pages. These are Cool Cat, Buzzy Bee and Wise Owl. Each represents a set of characteristics which you will be developing in order to become a Confident Networker. They will help to make your learning memorable and fun.
Workshops and Talks
We are able to offer a range of workshops and talks ranging from a 1 hour general taster session through to a full day tailored workshop. The following is an example of a flyer for a recent 90 minute taster workshop
Example: Confident Networking – for Career Success and satisfaction
Behind every successful person in today’s world of work lies an extensive web of influential connections. To create and maintain such a vibrant network demands high levels of self-confidence. In our workshop you will learn which are the specific crucial psychological qualities and specific skills that build inner strength, social competence and an impactful presence.
We will also include guidelines on how to develop the kind of organisations which promote and develop confident and effective networking. These will be of particular appeal to entrepreneurs, managers and leaders in all fields.
During the course of the session you have opportunities to practise some key techniques under the guidance of leading-edge practitioners in the field.
By the end of this workshop we expect that participants will:
Know the key psychological qualities and social skills that underpin confident networking
Have clarified their personal Unique Appeal Points in relation to a specific network setting
Increased their awareness of the key social skills required for effective networking and made an assessment of their own level of functioning in each area
Be able to distinguish between various levels of conversation and know the appropriate use of each
Have composed a personal self-marketing “strapline”
Have practised making a concise and confident impact when meeting someone for the first time
Have planned on how they can best leverage their traditional networking opportunities and experiment with some new ones
Enhanced their networking connections amongst their peer group
We have a team of trained consultants who can offer a personal and confidential series of sessions. Please contact us for further details.