Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Networking - In or Out of Your Comfort Zone?

Monday afternoon, a two hour session was held titled, 'Learn Something New: People and Networking'. The objective was not to provide a taught course on Networking, but to create an environment where people can share and exchange about networking, and do it at the same time.

In one exercise people were asked to stand on a line on the floor which represented a continuum between two extremes. The question was: How do you feel about networking at meeting coffee breaks? The extremes were: "I love it!" or "I'll go to the loo!" What we noticed was that a slight majority was going to the loo. One participant reflected that, for a networking organization, we are not all comfortable networkers.

Some suggestions were offered about how we can do more networking, and how we can help create work environments where networking and interaction is one of the key objectives. Longer coffee/lunch breaks? Open spaces in the agenda for interaction? Introductory sessions which serve to connect people and help them build relationships?

After this session, another 40 people know each other better (and can recognize each other by their 'Learn Something New' wristbands!). There is a reception tonight, let's see how the networking goes...