Networking and its benefits

Networking and its benefits

26 Jun 2024


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This informal CPD article, ‘Networking and its benefits’, was provided by Linda James MBE, founder of BulliesOut, one of the UK’s most dedicated and ambitious anti-bullying charities.

Whoever you are and whatever you do in life, networking is important to us all. Many people will associate networking in simply a business context; however, it can apply to us in all areas of our lives. We meet and network with lots of different people – whether that be whilst we are out shopping, having lunch, chatting with friends online, with colleagues in the office, or just passing strangers in the street.

Benefits from Networking

So, what are the benefits of networking and why do we do it? Of course, from a business perspective it is important to meet new people and share with them what your business does and how you may both benefit each other’s businesses. This way you will expand your business contacts, knowledge and perspective, and in turn, your business network. Business networking can come in all sorts of formats, from virtual sessions, breakfast and lunch sessions to a full evening dinner event. Whoever you meet in these circumstances may in some way be able to assist you in your business or know other people who can.

All types of networking can lead us into new ways of thinking, exploring new opportunities and developing lasting relationships. Networking can be a good – if not daunting at first – way to build your self-confidence and help advance your career. Networking is a great way to share information about your business, but people are also interested in people and want to know more about you. You may find yourself having a conversation with someone who has similar interest to you, has a similar background or has had similar life experiences to you. What you give to a conversation in a networking situation often leads to what you can achieve from that same conversation.

Formal and Informal Networking

Networking can also be very formal, but also undertaken very informally. Both have their benefits and drawbacks but both experiences can be very useful to try and find out what situation and setting best suits you as an individual.

It is always best to be prepared for any type of networking, especially the more formal settings. Know what you want to achieve from the event or activity and be prepared with the types of questions people may ask about you and what you do. Also, be prepared to provide other people with information about what you do and to leave them with your contact details if they want to find out more or arrange a 1-2-1 discussion.

Learn to Listen

Learn to talk, but also learn to listen. Of course, networking is about putting you and your business out there, but we are often called upon to be a good listener for others if we want them to give the same to us. If you don’t have a great memory, remember to write things down as soon as you get an opportunity, so you don’t forget about important conversations you have had. Finally, always remember to follow-up with people after you have met them – drop them a quick email to say how lovely it was to meet them and if you promised to share further information with them, you can send that at the same time.

Happy networking everyone!

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from BulliesOut, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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For more information from BulliesOut, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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