Your highest priority – Networking or Network Building?

If you have decided that building your network is important, it makes sense to decide how much time you will devote to your network building activities.

We have observed that people tend to invest more time building their networks as they see the value of building a team of team building advocates.

It is interesting that before COVID, networking activities tended to be relatively limited and inefficient. People often spent significant amounts of time travelling to local networking events. Then the people they were able to network with were confined to other local attendees.

Yet, even before COVID, many people recognised the importance of networking and were, therefore, prepared to invest significantly more time in networking than they need to today, when our networking meetings are held by Zoom.

After deciding how much time you are going to invest in building your network, it is then necessary to decide how best to allocate your time over the following possible activities:

  • Network Building
  • Networking
  • Continual Learning

The Connect Collaborative exists to help people build their teams of team building advocates. This is what we mean by network building.

In other words, we suggest adding people to your network with a view to empowering, them, to add people to their networks.

Personally advocating for others is powerful and builds trust. 

However, building a team of team building advocates is infinitely more powerful than merely increasing your personal advocacy for trusted others. It’s far better to have many others in addition to you practising advocacy.

So, we believe you will achieve the greatest results by setting aside a consistent amount of time each day, to expand your business relationships, to see if they could become network building partners in your team.

We also believe that you should set aside time to help your team members onboard others and work through our syllabus.

There is ample opportunity to network with others in the Connect Collaborative. This naturally happens as a consequence of meeting others in the small break-out groups conducted by the CC. However, it also occurs as others want to set up meetings with you to learn more about what you do and how they may help you.

It’s almost automatic to set aside time for networking! Networking will occur simply by attending CC Zooms. After that, networking will take care of itself.

This means you need to be very deliberate about forming daily network building habits. The same applies to advocacy. When you see the opportunity to valuably advocate for someone in your team or another member of the CC, be deliberate about making it happen!

When you are so busy attending meetings, reaching out to others you have not yet met on LinkedIn, helping your new members onboard their new team members, advocating for others, and so on, it is easy for continual learning to take a backseat. However, to ignore the power of learning provided by the CC would be a big mistake. Learning is vital. Knowledge can save you a lot of time and money and can help you earn more of the right type of income.

As with all of us, you only have a limited amount of time. So you need to become deliberate about where you invest your time.

Following are examples of how you may be able to use your network building and learning time more effectively:

  • When you onboard a new team member, don’t just see it as an exercise of equipping them by taking them through the syllabus. Realise that at the same time, you are also building a relationship with them and thinking about how you may be able to advocate for them to others.
  • When you learn to do better Boolean searches and use tools such as MyMostTrusted, you become more effective and efficient with your LinkedIn outreach.
  • You can listen to podcasts while doing other activities (such as driving, exercising or rocking the baby).
  • You can learn how to limit the time you spend in Zoom conversations by careful scheduling.

In summary, our message is that Network Building is your highest priority.

You need to make time for your network building activities deliberately. Getting to know and advocate for others will typically automatically occur as a consequence of attending CC Zoom meetings. As such, these activities do not require as much deliberate focus as network building and continual learning.

The secret to allocating time to network building and continual learning is to determine how much time you plan to invest in these activities, then, deliberately focusing on them until they become automatic habits.