Rise and Flow – The evolution of networking

 

 

 
 

RISE

According to the dictionary – to rise is to move from a lower to a higher position; to ascend. To rise is be prominent. To rise is to come into existence, to originate. To rise is to attain a higher status, to meet a demand or challenge. To rise is to return to life.

RISE™ - what a powerful word! If we use it in the context of what ConnectUs teaches our clients, we recognize that we can even use the word as an acronym.

R – is for rapport . At ConnectUs rapport is the first stage of networking. We believe that we need to get to know each other before we move on. Building rapport means that we must find our common denominators – what it there between us that we can recognize as a “shared” interest? Using our W3 – Who am I? What do I need? What am I willing to share is often the beginning to building a relationship. We all like to help each other, by sharing our wants, needs and willingness to share our resources a bond is created quickly, that often results in moving to the next stage of networking which is the gathering of information.

I – is for information . Once we have determined our common denominators we are ready to gather the information that will make an effective networking experience for both parties. How we find that information and what we do with it, is how we utilize our resources. At ConnectUs we find using our AHA Mind Map a valuable tool in the information sector of networking. Knowing more about a person provides us with the opportunity to share our resources. We don't know what we can share until we have determined what the needs might be. When gathering information we use the Internet, checking websites, associations, volunteer organization – anything that will help us cement a relationship, and develop a rapport that will create a business opportunity for both sides of the introduction. We firmly believe that ethical, effective networking is about creating a win on both sides of the introduction. It is not strictly about buying and selling products and services.

S – is for solutions . After building the rapport and finding relevant information that will be valuable to our connection, we need to determine what we hope to gain from our contact. This part of the strategy is crucial. Networking must be a win/win for both parties in every introduction - we want to make sure that we both get a return on the time we have invested. It is at this stage of the program that we actually set goals, develop an action plan and move into results driven mode. Networking is one of the best tools we have when used correctly. It provides us with a roadmap of who we want to know, what we can learn about that person and where we want to take that knowledge once learned. Using the tool kit ConnectUs provides, makes networking a skill that can be learned by anyone willing to take the time to educate themselves.

E – is for ethical. Whether we use networking to further our education, find employment or get engaged, networking must be based on integrity. We are in a new era, one that is based on trust and that trust must be earned. No longer can we refer colleagues strictly because we have their business card, or know their area of expertise, now we must know about their Social Capital.

Social Capital is knowing more about a person, it's taking the time to understand not only what they do, but what they like to do. It's learning about their hobbies, special interests and in some cases what goals they have set for themselves.

At ConnectUs we practice the “art” of effective networking. We recognize the importance of our communications styles and the stages each of us must move through to complete the cycle of ethical networking.

In this new culture of integrity – no longer can we just assume that exchanging business cards is all that is needed to obtain the contacts and referrals we need. Now, we must not only build the rapport, we must make sure that we find ways to help the other person with their goals and objectives. Networking has become a skill that needs to be learned, it is a process that has a beginning, a middle and an end. It is measurable and if we don't get the return on investment that we need – chances are we aren't really looking at networking as an equation where there must be a balance.

RISE is a philosophy, it is a methodology, that provides you with a template, a model encouraging you to RISE above all the mundane and become part of this new culture of integrity. RISE training programs are available for education, business and personal growth. At ConnectUs we measure your success – it's important for us to have you meet and exceed your goals.

Remember, according to the dictionary – to rise is to move from a lower to a higher position; to ascend; to be prominent. To rise is to come into existence, to originate. To rise is to attain a higher status, to meet a demand or challenge. To rise is to return to life.

RISE™ is proprietary and is delivered by certified ConnectUs Counselors.

FLOW

According to the dictionary to FLOW is to move or run smoothly with unbroken continuity, To circulate. To move, with a continual shifting. To proceed steadily and easily. To RISE.

For the purposes of this article and the process that networking is taking we are going to use FLOW™ as an acronym - a word to remember, to help us determine the steps to take to reach the goals we set for ourselves.

F – is for Forecast. Just like everything we do to insure success, we must write it down, once our words are in print, we can hold ourselves accountable. Draft an action plan. The action plan must be specific, measurable, achievable and timely. We need to give ourselves a roadmap where we can measure our progress as we move forward. Forecasting our goals and measuring the results is one of the best ways to guarantee that we will achieve and exceed our own expectations.

L – is for Launch. No matter how strong our determination, how much we want to succeed, if we don't actually plan to act on our forecast and hold ourselves accountable, we will not achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Planning to launch your networking strategy in an efficient and timely way will guarantee your success. Do your homework, identify the organizations and associations that will benefit from knowing you and your contacts. Remember, networking is a two way street, you must make sure that you give as much as you get.

O - is for Organize. To be an effective and productive individual who uses networking as an integral part of our business plan, we must be organized. Our contacts should be in a database that is easy to use. One that can provide us with current and updated information on each person and organization we need to know. Activity is important to record, if our information is stagnant, it is not only a great waste of effort, it has no relevant value. Timely and regular communication is imperative. We need to keep our network updated and communicate with them on a regular basis.

W - is for Win . We want to manage the FLOW of information, to be able to forecast where we want to go, to launch in a timely fashion a networking game plan that is organized and action orientated. We want to win. To guarantee that we will continue win at the networking game, means that we must constantly update our information, continue to build rapport and offer solutions whenever we can. All of our networking is done in an ethical way, recognizing the importance of our integrity – never abusing our contacts or resources.

FLOW is proprietary and is delivered by certified ConnectUs Counselors.

To participate in the RISE™ and FLOW™ programs at ConnectUs – call 905-337-9578





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ConnectUs Communications Canada
379A Kerr St., Oakville
ON L6K 3B9
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