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What Makes an Effective Networker? Practical Lessons from Award Winning Doctoral Research

Successful leaders have a nose for opportunity and a knack for knowing who to tap to get things done. These qualities depend on a set of strategic networking skills that nonleaders rarely possess.

Ibarra & Hunter, Harvard Business Review



​Networking is a key door opener to new possibilities and new opportunities, both personal and professional, yet many of us find the process daunting and difficult - and if we find something difficult, we tend to avoid it.

You may know who you want to meet and why, you may know where and when you want to meet them and what you hope to gain by doing so...where so many of us fall down is on the 'how'.

Have you ever taken stock of your network of contacts? How good are you at building - and maintaining - relationships? Why do some people seem able to maintain a wide network, with such apparent ease? And have you thought about the value of your network in all areas of business life - from job hunting and recruiting, to business development, raising finance, and entrepreneurial activity?

The goal of my Doctoral research at Durham University Business School was to find out exactly what effective networkers did so much better than everyone else, with the intent of using that information to help others develop those same skills. I'm pleased to say that not only did my research yield results that were statistically significant and with a decent effect size, but that the research was awarded the 'Best Doctoral Thesis' from that DBA cohort.

That quantitative research also led to the development of the Newton Networking Inventory, a survey tool that allows me to analyse and benchmark an individual's networking efficacy, and to see it change over time as the result of a training intervention. Unlike so much I've read, heard and seen about networking over the years, my approach is that every bit of advice I pass on about networking efficacy is grounded in evidence- so instead of "do this because I say so", it's "do this because here is the scientific evidence that it works."

I'm also author (with Judith Perle) of 'The Network Effect: a practical guide to making - and keeping - the connections that can make your world go round' which has received some mostly 5 star reviews on Amazon.

In sessions ranging from the 'flagship' full day workshop to half day and shorter masterclasses, I can not only help you and your people improve your networking efficacy, but I can report quantitively on the success of that training.

So who should attend a training session? Anybody who needs to network in order to:

  • Develop, maintain and grow client relationships

  • Break down corporate silos

  • Enhance their personal profile and visibility

  • Improve their leadership and influencing skills

  • Gain sales

  • Stay 'in the know' about what's happening externally and internally

  • Canvass support for new projects or initiatives

  • Raise finance

  • Find their feet quickly in a new role


How much we cover depends largely on how much time you can give me, but the following is a guide:

  • How networks really work - harnessing the power of your network

  • Why social media is only part of the story

  • Making a good impression & getting the best from events and meetings

  • Creating rapport and building relationships

  • The importance of effective follow-up

  • Contact management essentials

  • Networking for long term benefit

  • Setting goals and making it happen

At the end of the session participants will:

  • Understand the importance of networking to their personal and professional life

  • View networking as a positive activity rather than manipulation

  • Have added lots of practical tips and tricks to their personal 'toolkit'

  • Feel more comfortable meeting people at events of all kinds

  • Know how to stay in touch with contacts and develop long-term relationships

Pricing depends on what you want, where you want it, when, and for how many. As a starting point, please contact me to discuss what you're trying to achieve and we can take it from there.

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