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Oct
07 2013

5 Networking Group Realities and How to Leverage Them

Syndicated from: Networking for Results Blog

Joining a networking group is a great strategy. The problem is that too many professionals don’t take into consideration the priorities and pitfalls of groups, aren’t aware of how group dynamics can have a negative impact their involvement, and discover too late what indicators have the biggest effect performance and results.  A group has, by its very nature, certain priorities and parameters. These could be explicit through a written constitution or set of policies. They could implicit, and be expressed as a number of general guidelines established by the founder or other members of the group. Self-serving motive. The prime directive of every group is to sustain its existence. Many people delude themselves into thinking that the purpose of a group is to help them. This is secondary to the group’s over-riding purpose. This fact can be used very positively as any contribution to the group’s success will have an immediate impact on trust and leverage within the group. Conversely, any action that is perceived as not being in the group’s collective interest will be detrimental to positioning and objectives. Social environment. Humans are social beings and networking is primarily a social activity. Even though joining a group offers an initial basis for a relationship, it is essential that your primary objective, at least early in your tenure with the group, be to focus on the social aspects. This is necessary to establish, confirm and develop your position. Understanding and dealing with different personalities is a key success factor for maximizing results within a group. Political in nature. Within any group, there is a political perspective that must be acknowledged. There is always a small group of individuals who have the ability, the willingness or the opportunity to influence the balance of the group. Identifying these key players can go a long way to helping achieve your objectives more quickly and easily. In addition, developing your position to become a player within the group will heavily impact the ultimate outcome of your investment. Require Investment. Simply joining a group will accomplish nothing. Relationships require an investment in time, effort and energy. One of the main criteria to achieving results within any group is your commitment to the group. This investment is a long term commitment confirmed by your active participation on an on-going basis. Be prepared to see your involvement as a multi-year marketing strategy. This way you will forego the short term perspective that may hinder your overall success within the group. Rule of the few. In any group setting, there are always a few individuals who control much of the activity and results. Discovering who these people are and maximizing your relationships with these important members will help you accomplish your objectives. Better yet, become one of the “Important Few” and immediately gain the ability to leverage your investment and involvement. Do you have a networking group question?  Contact me at info@NetworkingForResults.com. Let’s discuss your issue. I’d love to help.  

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