Last week’s article (click here to access it) was about the value and importance of networking even when you work in a larger organisation. I wanted to follow that up with a real life example that I heard about last week when I was facilitating some breakout sessions as part of my associate role with ‘Voice at the Table’ at a large property corporate.
The group had met for the entire day but in the afternoon we ran some sessions on career progression and what could help the women in the room move their carer forwards. As I am seen as a ‘networking expert’, I was facilitating the group discussing relationship building. This company has thousands of employees across the globe, everyone there was UK based and some were even based in the same London office, yet in the group of 12 that I was facilitating, nobody knew one another! A not uncommon scenario in many corporates of the same size.
We started the discussion with why networking is important, both with clients and internally. Whilst the overall sentiment was that networking was a positive, some people in the group were very specific about whom that should involve – namely clients. Now of course networking with clients and potential clients is really important, however, was there really no value in networking internally? Some felt not.
Nevertheless, one lady gave a great example of how general internal networking (i.e. not staged so that departments that could work together meet one another) had been of benefit. The story she told was that there was an away day, with a mix of people from around the business attending. She ended up on a cycle ride alongside a man she didn’t know. They talked generally before she got onto the topic of some issues she’d had with a specific department in the company.
In her own words she ‘ranted for 15 minutes’ about the problems she’d been having…You’ve guessed it, at the end of the 15 minutes the man said he headed up the department she had been referring to! Her initial feeling was one of embarrassment, yet the benefit has been that that man heard first hand of the issues in his team, in a non-planned way and as a result, there have been great improvements in how that team now works. I have no idea what the reason behind the previous issues was but clearly that networking has been of great benefit, not just to the lady in question who now works really well with the other department but the wider business too as the service that department offers to its internal clients is much improved.
So this week, there’s no list of 4 points, just a stark reminder that whilst goal setting and considering where you will network is important to narrow down how you spend your time, if you are in a large organisation, it is worth investing some of that time in internal networking!
If you would like help with your networking skills and confidence or have a team who you would like to encourage to network internally and externally, email me to arrange a call back to find out more about how I can help.
Click here to read the last article about the value and importance of networking and how to get started.
Image thanks to FreeImages.com/Hans Widmer