Thursday, October 05, 2006

People you can work through

I spent a very pleasant evening with Tim Kidson at the weekend. Tim had commented on an earlier blog, expressing his frustration at the amount of business networking opportunities available and knowing how to pick the right one.

I asked Tim how he chooses which networking events and organisations to attend.

"I look to see where I can meet people I can work with and people I can work for. Beyond that, there are a lot of pleasant social interactions at networking meetings but no end result."

Tim's comments were interesting. Through the evening, up to this point, Tim had mentioned various opportunities, clients and contracts that had come his way recently. Without exception, all of these doors had opened through someone else's recommendation. None were people who Tim had directly met at networking groups.

I asked Tim if perhaps he had missed the best kind of person he could meet at events. He seemed confused.

"You've talked about people you can work with and for", I said. "How about people you can work through?"

It can be very easy to write off social interactions at business networking events as non-productive, however much fun they may be. However, you can never really tell which friendship or which interaction will one day open the key door for you.

As Carole Stone, 'London's Networking Queen', once said, "Make friends when you can, not when you need them"

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