Virtual Networking

Aug 21, 2020

LEADER'S FIELD GUIDE

Geographical boundaries are limitless and access to people, infinite. What does it mean to be intentional about relationships, quirk, and service?


These days, we can meet people all over the world at the click of a button. According to Fusion, “550,000 miles of cable transmit 99% of international digital data”. That’s enough to circle the earth twenty-two times! If we have a complaint about virtual networking, it certainly isn’t because we are lacking connectivity. Working from home (WFH) has magnified the number of online meetings and seems to garner a collective and feisty sigh of dread. Acknowledging the sore bums we office jockeys are sporting these days, it’s time to refresh our online networking.

Our geographical boundaries are limitless and our access to people is nearly infinite. Not only can we connect with people in one of Earth’s twenty-four time zones, but we can also research countless details, watch videos of their puppies, and find out what they eat for dinner! Online networking, like in-person networking, is about people. It’s about connecting at a human level even though we are leveraging technology to do it.

Be intentional about your:

  1. Relationships: So often, we attend a networking event or conduct a search as if our plan is, “Surprise me!” What if you actually knew who you wanted to know? In her article, How to Network: 18 Easy Networking Tips You Can Use Today, Vanessa Van Edwards recommends creating and working two lists, a Develop Relationship list and a Get Introduced list.
  2. Quirk: Access to human connect is granted through Allowing your quirkiness, or professional uniqueness, to come through in your online communications is a quick way to be known and remembered. I challenge you to answer Van Edwards’ questions for yourself and for those you seek to know: What motivates this person? What is important to them? What energizes them? What do they value?
  3. Service: Perhaps you are fond of the person that seems to follow up with a relevant article, an important introduction, or a meaningful check-in? Yes, and others are, too! Be the one who seeks to serve others first. Take notes on your conversations and utilize a reminder tool so that you inquire in a timely fashion about a vacation or health of a spouse.

WFH and online networking is here to stay, and as of today, we can talk to any known entity in the universe! (Unless you know something I don't, but we could assume non-earthlings would network virtually, as well.) Who do you want to know? Who do you want to know better? How can you leverage your own quirkiness and discover the quirks of those you’re engaging? What can you do for or share with others to advance them and their important work? The tools we have allow us to see people on the other side of the globe, write to people in 6,500 languages, and help people 12,000 miles away. So, get off your bum!


by Michelle Sugerman • Leading Synergies, LLC • © All Rights Reserved

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