Networking is like marmite. You either love it or hate it. Negative perceptions and experiences, such as excruciating events with a bunch of strangers, are becoming outdated. It can easily be seen as time-consuming and a wasted effort without the confidence and tools to be effective. The ways in which people are now networking and the value it brings are changing because of technology and the imperative of finding (and staying in) work in an era of fluctuating employment. Networking has become essential to being more employable at any life stage (see Learning to Leap: A Guide to Being More Employable), whether internal or external to an organisation, and it can no longer be left to chance. So where can you go for help and support? I really recommend you read this book whether you are a professional in business or someone who simply wants to develop this core competence. Heather is a performance improvement specialist for professional services, widely published writer and social media expert. She has written a timely book that not only simplifies and debunks the myths about networking, but also cleverly helps you join up and integrate your face-to-face and online approaches. She has spotted the opportunities being presented by the blurring of our online and offline lives. Heather has managed to avoid making this another dry business book through bringing a lively, positive and personal style. Her energy shines through from her considerable experience of working with lawyers and accountants, setting up and running her own coaching and consultancy business, practising what she preaches through networking on and offline herself and finding time to be a mother of two young children! The book is an easy read, clearly structured with summaries, signposts to other resources and action points in the form of targeted questions at the end of each chapter. There are plenty of real life case studies to illustrate points, the benefits of networking are highlighted and I particularly liked the inclusion of an `opportunity score' - a measure of your networking effectiveness. Heather doesn't leave it there, she also provides practical ways you can develop and increase your score whether it's working a room at a network event or maximising LinkedIn and Twitter. There is a supporting website where you can share stories. Like the good coach she obviously is, she helps you overcome your fears. It has certainly given me more confidence and many ideas for actions to take that will help me and my business going forward.
6 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?