Time to Talk: The Magic of Networking

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a roundtable event. The topic was relevant, compelling and interesting. The group of people were diverse and engaging; the breakfast was delicious! Afterwards I was struck by the importance of taking time to meet with like-minded people, and how valuable it can be to take time out to share experiences and learnings with others around you. It’s hard to squeeze these things into your schedule, but when you do, you invariably end up taking out more than you put in.

All this got me thinking about how I might bring this knowledge sharing and learning back to our business. Booking in short sessions each month to have some thinking time with your teams can clearly be very beneficial, it’s just one of those things that you have to consciously make happen, as it can so easily get pushed back. It is often seen as non-business critical as there isn’t always an immediate tangible output.

People are our most vital resource and what sets us apart from our competitors. Bringing people together in different groups, allowing them to share challenges from different areas of our business and diverse client sectors, will provide insight you simple can’t get in other ways. On the external networking side you can often end up with sales leads.

The upshot of all this is that finding time to spend with people is very much on my mind at the moment. What are my teams up to? Are they getting the support they need? Are they learning from each other? How can I learn from them? Can I utilise their knowledge and experience in new ways? What’s going on with our clients?

Doing something and letting your clients know you’re doing it are two different things. Taking time out like this is a great way of making sure they have a clear picture of what’s going on, and vice versa. It’s a clear way to provide proof points, beyond the pitch chat that wowed them in the first place. Clients will see that you are doing this and it shows them that you are pro-actively investing in your people, which helps to develop them, which in turn has a positive affect for your clients.

Successful senior business leaders invest time in people. They do this for a reason. How your approach to people is perceived is important and compelling. If you get a chance to attend a roundtable like the one I did then you should jump at the chance. Now to schedule those team meetings….