I love meeting new people, and I love making connections, therefore networking must be the thing for me, right? If I’m unconsciously networking, that’s works, but at some point we need to shift to consciously networking, and I’m looking to ways to do this.
I have used Facebook for online networking since end of 2006, although I didn’t really get into it until about April 2007, since when I have used it quite a lot. Great for keeping in contact with people you meet on travels, especially guests from my Oak Hall trips. More and more people are joining in, it’s not just for the ‘youngsters’ as it was seen in the early days! The concept of friendship, however, is an interesting one, and one for further debate!
University of Winchester
So in returning to Winchester, the University is the obvious place for me to hang out and renew my connections. I’ve worked for many different departments on and off since I first came to the University in 1994, and have left a trail of positive feedback behind me, which I’m pleased to see! I have gained all of my work through the University by checking in with contacts I already know, and for now it’s generated a few things, including current work on the ‘Learning‘ section of the website. Interestingly, depending on when you see this, you could see the ‘before’ version, the mid-process “a few bits have been edited” or the streamlined and re-ordered, jazzed-up version… interesting that the web never sits still.
On Tuesday I went to my first ever formal networking event at Business Networking Basingstoke. I was encouraged to go as they were doing “What type of Gem are you” personality testing… and I find any kind of personality testing fascinating. They help you understand and accept yourself, and also other people. In this context the idea was to understand who you may be selling to:
• Sapphires are stimulating, enthusiastic, and on-the-go people. They like fun, being the center of attention, and receiving tons of recognition. Enjoying people, influencing others’ decisions, and being popular is their style. Skip the details with them, just make the buying process easy, fun, and spontaneous.
• Rubies are risk takers, go-getters, and like challenges. They like to win, be right, and are fast paced. They need control, authority, and thrive on commission. Their bottom-line approach helps them make quick buying decisions. Sellers, be prepared!
• Pearls are patient, relational, and incredibly harmonious. The quality time they spend with others is seen as supportive. Their relationships are longstanding and oriented to helping the team. Don’t push them from their low-key approach, or your sales style will overwhelm and scare them away.
• Emeralds are effective, thorough, and detail-oriented. Their behavior of following rules, collecting data, and completing tasks pushes them toward excellence. These are the detail people who need to carefully conduct their research before making a buying decision.
Thanks to Business Know-How
It can sometimes take a while to work out which you are! I put myself in the Sapphire group, but I also have strong affiliations with the Rubies! We’re all a bit of everything, but Emerald is definitely the one I have least affiliation, although I work methodically through websites/projects (the challenge to complete) and enjoy creating structure out of a mess (a challenge to create order?)!
Two other Basingstoke networking events were drawn to my attention through this event, the Athena Network and Ladies Who Latte. Looking for a Winchester event, I then came across: OutThere (which uses Facebook style social networking from Ning), so there clearly are lots of options out there!
Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture in the third sector (especially faith). Author of ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.