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3D Ideas 937: Networks – energising or unspeakable?

Claire writes: “This morning, it was a privilege to be part of the launch of a network. But when the request came in a couple of weeks ago to talk about The Power of Networks, my immediate reaction was to scream inside – I don’t like networking!  There was a season in my life when I tried a few networking meetings.  That’s some time I’ll never get back.  It felt like blind dating and selling – and elevator pitches aren’t my thing.

So I have just come off the call where I shared some more personal stuff – and the energy from the group has energised me. So here’s a bit of what I said

  1. Everyone has a story – you’re never ‘the only one’. Your story has good bits and challenging bits
  2. A network can stand with us in solidarity. We are not alone. This is about connections. They can be our cloud of witnesses and travel with us for a season
  3. As we get to know a small number of people more deeply, we can strengthen and resource one another.  I’ve been part of what I call my wisdom circle to get that
  4. Friends who will sympathise and empathise are important.  And so is a group who will offer challenge as well as support
  5. A network outside the echo chamber of your team, department or organisation can offer a different perspective that is safe and brings a diversity and creativity to our thinking
  6. It’s great to be heard. In a group of 6-8 people we are heard 6-8 more times than in a 1-1… as well as getting new insights
  7. Networks contain people who know things we don’t know. Asking ‘who do you know who knows about jobs in XYZ’ opens up a huge community. (I am directly connected to 1700 people on LinkedIn – they are directly connected to 346000!)
  8. Know why you’re there and remember this is about giving and receiving

We are not alone – there is strength in having a tribe where we can navigate our journeys with others who travel with us for a season.  (Now I have my standing desk and more space, it also felt liberating to be able to do a talk with a standing up voice!)

My part in this network has been to train hosts to use action learning to support small groups to do good work together.  Happy to talk more about how you can do this – if that’s useful?

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Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

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