Well, I’ve said it – “I HATE Networking”.
You might find this strange coming from a guy who runs a blog called Personal Network and has been rambling on the subject on a regular basis for over 6 months. But I do!
On Monday evening, I went along to an event in Bath (soon to be my new home) – and when the presentations were over and the “chance to network” began, I just froze. It brought back many memories from the past, attending these events and just thinking “why the hell am I here?”. I got value out of the event – and have followed up with a couple of people who I listened to … but “networking” is not for me.
It’s not that I’m not a social animal – I get real energy from being around people (I am by no means a loner). It’s not that I’m the shy/retiring type – the 14 years I spent as an international photo-journalist meant I spoke to every sort of person to help get my job done. Maybe that’s the answer to my hating “Networking” – I don’t see the point.
I am also a great believer in serendipity – so crossing people’s paths and making connections is real fun for me. I suppose my way would be through making connections – the friend of a friend root. Networking is “cold calling” to me – just without the phone slam!
The crux of the matter is that personally, I dislike small talk – and meeting my objectives in not aligned to “networking” events. I’m not in a sales role – and “networking” makes me a salesman. Check out this video – it makes my skin crawl!
I have come to the conclusion that I am not alone. It would be interesting to find how many of this blog’s readers feel the same way. Networking gurus who train you to “work the room” and follow up “for a coffee” – might fit with some, but not me!
My belief that your Personal Network is your most important asset (more than house and cash) does not vary. It’s by standing back and assessing your network against your objectives that you make your plans. However, I don’t think my plans will ever include “networking” events.