Comms Professionals and Networking Skills

Mike Klein and I are preparing to give an amazing workshop at the IABC annual conference, the premium event for communications professionals, in Washington DC from June 11-14 2017. It’s called “From collecting to connecting: next-level networking for communication professionals” and #SYTYCN provides the context.

Networking is one of the most critical skills of communication professionals—indeed it is the engine that causes information to flow, knowledge to be obtained, and supportive relationships to be initiated, sustained and grown.

For communication professionals to progress in organizational centrality and career influence, the ability and inclination to give as much as you get, and to connect one’s connections to each other is what’s required to move to the next level of impact.  But much of what is being pushed in today’s networking industry is purely transactional guidance of the “collect lots of business cards” and “be sure to bring mints to the event to make sure your breath is nice” variety.

This session will look at what it takes to develop higher-level network building habits, and provide participants with hands-on practice and coaching in how to practice these habits and spread them in their communities.

The session also will explicitly look at gender dynamics: how, when left to their own devices, many men will pump up what they are up to and not leave room for their listener to contribute. Many women will understate what they are up to and any contributions of the listener will be at a lower level than needed. Generalizations of course, but grounded in theory. We will look at the conversations that add fuel and impact to networks: inquiries that look at what each person is up to, what they need, where speaker and listener explore their social worlds to find people who can be useful and interesting resources and connections. These people may be inside or outside an organization. These are networks, and making use of social capital is networking.

What participants will learn

• Four questions to ask of colleagues

• How not asking questions risks success

• How easy it is to get past “If I ask that, I will look like a dork”.

* How a step-change in networking will increase your impact as a communication professional


Lin McDevitt-Pugh

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