No-box-thinking with Dinah Liversidge

No-box-networking - are you listening?

July 05, 2019 Dinah Liversidge Season 1 Episode 3
No-box-thinking with Dinah Liversidge
No-box-networking - are you listening?
Chapters
No-box-thinking with Dinah Liversidge
No-box-networking - are you listening?
Jul 05, 2019 Season 1 Episode 3
Dinah Liversidge

What happens when we take a new approach to networking and redefine what a network is about and who we network with. In this episode, I start to look at the ways we can change how we think about networking and the results this can create.
I'll be sharing more of my thoughts on this topic in the future, and would love to know your thoughts on how networking can be approached with a no-box mindset.

Show Notes Transcript

What happens when we take a new approach to networking and redefine what a network is about and who we network with. In this episode, I start to look at the ways we can change how we think about networking and the results this can create.
I'll be sharing more of my thoughts on this topic in the future, and would love to know your thoughts on how networking can be approached with a no-box mindset.

Speaker 1:

Hi there. I'm Diana Liversidge. Thanks for joining me on my no box, no box thinking podcast today. I wanted to talk a bit about networking. Networking is one of those topics that I think we approach all the time from a business perspective and I think as a result a lot of people feel it isn't relevant to them, but when you unbox this and take the labels away and look at networking in a new way, I think it's something that we all do naturally, instinctively and actually without the fear that can become attached to it. When we put the labels in place. I'll give you an example of what I mean. I think we all start networking at play school. The moment you are dropped off and left for the first time with your peers, admittedly many of us could barely communicate at that age. We are networking in the sandbox, whether we share with others, do we interactively play?

Speaker 1:

That's networking. And so we have been taught from a very, very young age how to do this. And a bit like a lot of the stuff we do as teenagers that are crazy and fun and wild, they become something we're afraid of doing when we put a grownup label on them. I know many people say they're afraid of speaking in public, that when they get up to speak, they're terrified and they can feel their tummies churning well. I think they forgotten what excitement feels like because that same feeling when they were 13 and standing in the queue to the biggest roller coaster wasn't called fair. It was called exhilaration and excitement. And we forget because we relabel things, we box ourselves into adult language and create an unreal situation. So I approach networking in a slightly different way. And one of the big things I learned really over the last probably 20 years of networking was that my preconceived ideas that being an extrovert would make me a great networker were wrong.

Speaker 1:

You've seen what you've discovered that introverts actually the people I really want in my network. And why is that? Well, one of the key reasons is they listen brilliantly. I know it sounds like I'm generalizing and I have to say I'm a believer that we all have introvert and extrovert qualities. It's just we feel more comfortable in certain situations with some of those skills. So sometimes it feels more appropriate or safer to use our introvert and sometimes to use an extrovert. And yes, I think we all have them, but some people are wonderful networkers because of their introverts. So they've learned that the best way to lose the fear about going networking is not to think, Oh gosh, I'm going to have to stand up and talk, but instead to think I'm going to go and listen. And of course when they listen, they hear what people in the network are attempting to communicate that often those extroverts sitting, preparing in their heads for what they're going to say are missing because they're not listening.

Speaker 1:

So my first thought about unboxing that networking label is think about it as an introvert. More think, what can I add to my network when I listen rather than what can I get from my network? If I say the right things, I've always believed that in any network you're going to find those people who naturally want to contribute and those people who struggle with that and they'll have all kinds of reasons and some of them are justified and there are people who work alone who don't very often interact with others and there are networks who would say, well then they probably aren't going to contribute much. We wouldn't like them as an active member. And again, what I've learned from watching this, from networking with these kinds of networkers is that often they don't contribute every week or maybe even every month, but when they contribute, it's often an enormous contribution. They've listened so carefully to your messages of who you'd like to talk to or what your ideal client looks like and they've gone away and really put in the work. Some of my best introductions have come from people who've said, you talked about this five or six or even eight weeks ago. Are you still looking to talk to that? Because that kind of person is someone I'm now working with.

Speaker 1:

What I also believe about networking is we've labeled it in such a way and put it, put it into so many boxes that we've done what we tend to do in life in general. We've said it say a business network or it's a personal interest kind of network. And actually what I have found since I moved to a small community is that when you take those labels away and allow anybody in that community to contribute in some way to a network, you create really exciting and unexpected networks. So my network of women who I meet every other Wednesday thanks to our amazing art teacher, Amanda includes people from their mid thirties right up to there. Well I can possibly say um, but the age gap is vast. And what do we all have in common? Well we all care about a community we live in, we all care about its future success and we all care about what we can do together to enhance our lives and the lives of those we care about within that small community.

Speaker 1:

And when you are a small community, a few people getting together who are like minded can make a difference. Now that network is as important to me as the network I'm about to fly halfway round the world to connect with so that I get to go to New Zealand and talk to people about something I care about and hear what's facing them as a big challenge. What's making their joy level rise? What's making them wish they could retrain or what do they want to learn from someone else that they're only going to get when all of us come together. Now these two networks couldn't be further apart in not just location but in demograph in the purpose of why we come together, but I believe we get the same thing from these networks when we unbox and unlegal it and what we get is a sense of belonging, a sense of shared purpose, a chance to understand we're not alone in what we're doing, what we focus on, how the world impacts us, and a sense of community perhaps more than ever now at a time when so much interaction is done online or via the internet, the medium of email or even WhatsApp where it's messaging instead of being together and talking face to face that contact now more than ever, we need to unbox the way we network and to see the opportunities to say, be part of this with me.

Speaker 1:

Be part of something bigger. Come and listen and learn about others and maybe we'll reconnect in a way that allows a bit more joy, a bit less anger, a bit more what we have in common rather than what divides us. I think when we unbox, when we realize networking doesn't belong in these labeled situations, it actually becomes a more exciting thing, a less fearful thing and something perhaps the introvert in us is more comfortable to seek out.

Speaker 1:

So I'd love you to think a bit about the networks. Perhaps you've resisted joining the networks you could create yourself and the networks you're already a part of. At what level are you connecting out? At what level are you all making a contribution that says to each other, we are part of something bigger. We can use that for good. Whether that's supporting each other as a tiny local, intimate, personal, you need me, I need you level, or whether it's changing the world for everyone. Let's look at our networks a bit more like the trees do. Let's be that connected. The were noticing the people in our networks who are struggling that we're caring more about whether other people are getting something out of our network. Then whether we are, you may have noticed, I care a lot about this topic. I'll be talking about it again. Thank you for joining me and go and unbox your networks.