The Famous Five: Are you Connecting?
At our second IECL NEXGEN event for young professionals last week we had the pleasure of Kim McGuinness from Network Central exploring how do you become a great connector?
The enthusiastic, energetic Gen Y and X audience were eager to learn how to prepare themselves for a lifelong network!
Kim generously shared her business relationship analysis tool that she revisits every three months. This looks at your network broken down into advocates (people who endorse you, who you trust and value the most), close contacts (who you would go to dinner with), known contacts and distant contacts. Outside of this we added a social media layer for people you follow i.e. on twitter and linked in. The aim is to increase awareness and strategically move people closer which I found a very powerful exercise.
Next we looked at our famous five, the most influential and important go to’s in our network. This is important to reflect on as it is said we are a product of our inner circle. If those people have high energy and positivity levels then we will have too-positive emotional contagion! We then had to map our ideal Famous Five and assess the gap.
We touched briefly on ‘Our WHY’ which I have been exploring and wrote about in my Meaning@Work, MeaninginLife blog. Part of my why is to develop, connect and inspire others to create energy, possibility and positivity. I have a mission for this which I am currently developing which I will share once progressed. What’s your why and mission / vision and are you living it?
A great exercise was who can I connect? This involved thinking of our networks and who would benefit from interacting. I was thinking of some upcoming forums I’m part of, a disruption network and a corporate athlete/well being brainstorm with members of my network. My challenge set is to get a group of bloggers (varying from new to experienced) together to learn from each other! If anyone is interested please let me know! Who can you connect in your network for a purpose?
Kim’s connecting tips:
- Always add a personal message on a LinkedIn contact request. When using the iphone or ipad you need to select add a personal message otherwise it will send the generic message automatically.
- Follow companies on LinkedIn to learn from
- You are a sum of your famous five, choose them wisely
- Get to networking events early, be happy and generous
- Be active in five LinkedIn groups
- Pick three social media platforms and give them attention, different content but the same message. For business mine are LinkedIn, Twitter and Blogging
- Think who can I refer? Be a giver, karma will come back to you
- Contact follow up post event is crucial, do what you say you will (i.e. send that article)
- Expand your thinking
- Create a monthly networking plan
To finish the highly practical session we had a call to action card which I challenge you all to reflect on and commit to at least one:
- Connect with 5 people you haven’t seen in a while before Christmas
- Book a networking event (and follow up time)
- Plan which networks you will attend in 2014 and put a note in your diary to book events
- Put a group together and see how you can help each other
- Find three fascinating people on LinkedIn and personally invite them to connect
Happy connecting and enjoy a wonderful Christmas and New Year!