Many years ago the phrase: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" was quoted widely on management programmes (and still is in some circles!). Yet we know that some of the most talented people in organizations don't fit the extrovert, polished style that can sometimes be subjectively and mistakingly used as the main criterion for talent identification.

This article focuses on how developing an effective network can help build confidence.

Effective leaders are generally very good at networking and maintaining their important personal relationships. However, for many people this is not a natural style and does not come easily. From our experience we know that there are two critical areas in achieving great networking results, and the good news is that all of this is developable!

Firstly, identifying exactly who should be included in the network by:
  • Clarifying areas of performance where effective networking is key to success.
  • Forming a clear picture of the extent of their current network.
  • Identifying areas of strength and weakness in the network.
  • Devising a plan for closing gaps between where they are and where they need to be.
All of this needs to be done in the context of three key targets:

Internal Relationship Management: Essential in the context of internal ''customers'' and cross-border team-working.

External Relationship Management: Essential in the context of external customers and staying in touch with what is changing in the business context.

Learning and Development: Essential in building a broad network of support and challenge for learning and development priorities.

Having developed an ideal Network Web, the second stage in the process is about gaining more knowledge and skills in how to use it successfully. From our experience we recommend this five-step approach to development:

Step 1: Building a two way rapport

Step 2: Actively listening

Step 3: Entering a conversation

Step 4: Leaving a conversation

Step 5: Building bridges for the future

To register your interest in receiving more information about our online Self Development materials in this field, please email Sue Bell on: sue@wadenhoeconsultancy.com

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