Since being full-time in Maui I have enjoyed getting to know the local community and networking and this week I joined the local chapter of BNI (the world’s largest networking organisation). Networking is a great way to build relationships, which is key to attracting clients. It has also opened up opportunities for speaking to groups, which of course, I absolutely love to do.
As comfortable as I am with speaking to groups, I haven’t always found it so easy to network. I didn’t like to intrude on other people’s conversations or lives.
In fact, networking and building relationships was an area I chose to work on about 6 years ago when I was studying coaching and neuro-linguistic programming. It’s funny as I think back to that time, because in one exercise of the coaching course I worked with a specific problem I had – my identity.
I identified with being an ISLAND. I felt remote and disconnected.
It’s funny because I now find myself living on an island and Hawaii is the MOST remote group of islands in the world. Being here is Maui it can be easily to feel disconnected from the rest of the world, even though the internet has made the whole world smaller and connected.
When people enter a networking situation, or perhaps if you are speaking to a group – it can be common to feel a similar disconnect. To see the gap between yourself and others. To feel separate.
Working on my ‘problem’ with fellow students, I came to realize how my identity was a LIE, and that it was all in my way of thinking. It’s a big part of what I now teach – overcoming the lies we tell ourselves.
My colleague also pointed out to me, via a diagram, how even islands are connected to each other.
In fact the whole world is connected to each other, isn’t it. The sea is just an illusion that separates us. Whether it separates or connect us, is once again how you look at it.
Did you know a fish is not even aware of the water it lives in? Similarly, we do not pay attention to the medium in which we lives that connects us all.
I’m sure you have had experiences with people you are close to when you are thinking the same thing, or think to call each other at the same time. You are connected.
That connection is there with everyone…..if we look for it, and tap into it.
Next time you find yourself in a sea of people in a networking room – or perhaps they are in your audience – consider the unseen forces that connect you to them.
When you sign up for my spotlight quiz and video series, video 1 looks at Rapport and the importance of that to build your connection with one another and an audience. (You can sign up at the top right hand box of this page)
Interestingly enough, one year after my experience at the coaching course, a friend and colleague of mine remarked how I was the ‘networking queen’. Something must have changed!