The Uncomfortable Networker Unleashed

Top tips for the uncomfortable networker!

It is said that over 70%  of jobs and business comes from networking.  These great top tips to unleash the uncomfortable networker come from an excellent Coaching Academy CPD Event yesterday with Rasheed Ogunlaru.

I consider myself outgoing. Even so, the thought of working a room of strangers  authentically and effectively is uncomfortable. It’s funny how alternative ways to spend the time present themselves. So here are some top tips for the uncomfortable networker!

  • Arrive early. Counter intuitive right? But this way you are in the position of greeting and not breaking into groups already formed
  • Have something to say – in fewer than 10 words who you are and what you do, thats interesting. Write it down before you go and say it to your trusting mirror or even a friend
  • Make eye contact – some-people dont want to be tapped on the back!
  • Get the greeting right.  The handshake if you use it should be firm but not bone crunching.  If its a multi-cultural group handshaking might not be the thing.
  • Sm-eyes (pronounced schmize)! Deliver your greeting with a smile that reaches your eyes and isn’t looking over the shoulder to the next best person
  • Numbers. Set yourself a target of people
  • Move on graciously – if you’re getting stuck with someone telling you about model trains or the inclement weather (no offence to afionados of either discipline) say thanks and move on!
  • Celebrate. A successful networking event is part of your work and needs celebrating with new contacts and recognising new opportunities

Have fun and please share how you get on! Of course, Get in touch to discuss your coaching needs

Is coaching right for me?

How do I know if coaching is right for me?

Many new and potential clients are confused about what coaching entails and whether it’s right for them. If the answer is yes to any of these question, then coaching is right for you and can most definitely support you.

  • Do you feel that you aren’t reaching your potential?
  • Is there a gap of where you are now to where you want to be?
  • Do you sometimes feel you don’t have the skills, resources or confidence to do what you want?
  • Do you sometimes feel stuck and put off making decisions or fail to stick to those resolutions you have made?
  • Are you ready to entertain new and fresh ideas, even if it may be uncomfortable?
  • Are you willing to be accountable for what you want?

So what is Coaching?

Put simply, coaching is a tool that is used to empower or enable individuals to identify and make pathways towards what they want. It is a structured conversation that takes place in a professional environment between the coach and the client. 

What coaching is not

Coaching is not about your coach giving you suggestions or advice. I am not mentoring or counselling you. It is not psychological therapy and will not make an assessment of you.

How does coaching work?

Different coaches use different models to structure their sessions. The models all have the same intention: to provide a structure for a conversation that will reveal your aspirations, the reasons or values that underpin them and pathways to realise them. 

Coaching keeps you moving forward towards your intentions while learning and becoming aware of yourself through the experience.  The intention is always to find the resources in you as we learn together what is possible.

During coaching sessions you will make plans to take action.  I will listen to you and ask questions to help you reflect on the purpose and direction of your plans and their potential to affect others. You will be responsible for the decisions you take.

A session usually last between 45mins and 1 hour. 

Special sessions may give you an opportunity to explore in more depth what motivates you, what personal preferences and values you live by.

Who else will know what has been said?

A coaching session is completely confidential. I  comply to the Coaching Code of Conduct which you can find here

What does the coach need from me during a session?

Not surprisingly, clients who get the greatest benefit from the investment they make for coaching are those who come to the session prepared. They have reflected and come with an idea for a change they want to make or work towards.

Collecting your thoughts and ensuring that you are relaxed and ready makes a difference. You may also need a pen and paper to hand and any other items that you may think will be useful such as a diary and other ways of recording your plans and commitments.

I think I want to start coaching now. What do I do?

Your first step is to CONTACT ME!

We will talk over your understanding of this service and what you are hoping to get out of it. We will look at a package to fit your needs. Our first session will look in greater depth a what coaching can do for you. If you decide it is not for you, you will not be charged for this.  Nothing ventured etc etc

Make a resolution to stick to!

So, about ski jumping…

I know its the time of cricket and tennis, but you may have read in the earlier blog that I sometimes wonder about ski jumping and stretching yourself for high performance.

You see it on Winter Olympics: a young, brightly smiling, deeply concentrating sportsperson in slim lycra and sub-zero temperatures waves from the top of a high structure. They launch themselves with little apparent concern for life or limb and hurtle down a slope in a tight squat, before being launched into the air. Most land a few moments later with delicacy and skill and come to a graceful halt with their skies in a v shape, turning to wave to the crowd and see their scores. I momentarily feel for their parents and then console myself that the parents probably encouraged them. Performance for them is a matter of life and death. Once launched, there can be no doubt.

My questions are these: How do you come to know you can do a thing that for most of us would be certain death? At what point do you realise that this is the sport for you? Are there piles of dead and or broken would be ski-jumpers offering grim lessons to all trainees? Of course, part of the answer will be in training and skills development, related fitness and interest. In addition, I imagine you start with small jumps and build upwards.

All that said and done, I am guessing, a jump would have to be high enough to enable the flight and landing that keeps it safe. At this point it becomes a leap of faith that you must really really want to take! The beauty of the jump, the smiles on the faces of those that do it and even those that don’t win is testimony to how rewarding it can be.

Is this what is meant by The Stretch Zone? While we might not all aspire to the risk and splendour of ski-jumping, all of us have things we want to do that seem out of reach or make us nervous at the thought. Can we take a leaf from the books of the ski-jumpers who have the skills and have the training and know their stuff and then do it inspite of the risk!

Have you done such a thing? Please share your experiences below!