Up there with speaking in public, another great fear that business people have is networking. The very notion of networking conjures up all sorts of images of pushy salespeople and eager beavers that’d bore you to tears with their latest idea. As a regular keynote speaker at events around Europe, I see all sorts of cultural differences and personalities. Many dread going forward at events and for those of a more introverted nature, approaching others is a bigger fear than skydiving.
Yet networking always will be essential to getting on with others. Our natural comfort zone is to hang around with others that are like us, which makes for a limited circle. As our society (and Ireland in particular) becomes more diverse, we therefore limit our opportunities.
While we all know instinctively that networking is essential for our personal growth and for our firms, we don’t get training or KPIs around such activity. I met this week with Kingsley Aikins who has a personal Rolodex that would be the envy of many. Having spent a lifetime mixing with the great and good, he now offers training through his Networking Institute.