The Outcomes Conference is fast approaching and this means a large group of highly focused individuals will be under one roof. For those who have attended, you know this conference has much more than just programming. You know that live interaction will happen because time for "networking" is scheduled in the weekend. I haven't been to any conference that supplies a fantastic lunch while creating a period of time where all present sit down and have a meal together. You can feel the energy in the room.
Sometimes I feel that "networking" has a negative connotation. It will definitely be negative if one's perspective has a high "all about me" attitude. Anyone who "networks" focused on herself isn't networking. Networking is a two-way street of giving and receiving. Networking has three levels. The majority of individuals only skim the surface of the power of networking.
I'm sure the majority of you immediately realize the easier, in the moment, side of networking.
Access to Expertise - the right room always has individuals who are experts, which includes you. In person events allows others to easily approach you OR you to approach others.
Exchange of Ideas- networking is more than the, "Hi, what do you do?" kind of conversation. Networking goes deeper and begins to build a real relationship. Listening and hearing pain points... discussing solutions... offering advice.... hearing advice.
The beginning of networking feels somewhat like speed dating. If you keep in touch and nurture the relationships you began via networking, something changes.
Mutual Support - first and foremost, no matter what we do, we're all people. We're each going to have our own struggles. We each reach for something in our distant future. We all need support. You will give and receive positive influence.
Giving - "For it is in giving that we receive." ~ Francis of Assisi. How true is that? The second stage of networking allows you to openly give of yourself - your time and talent - to be of assistance to help others succeed. To truly give means you have no expectations of anything in return, you gave a gift.
The final stage of networking will only occur after you've created substantial depth in your relationship.
Opportunities - at this level of networking, there is mutual understanding. Not only will you notice opportunities for others, but others will think of you when opportunities seem to fit you and your needs.
Strategic Partnerships - the highest level of networking embraces the idea of partnering to create something far better than any single entity could ever create. The trust component is very high at this stage.
Successful networking starts with a smile and an introduction. In the event you love everything about rehabilitation outcomes, FOTO has the best conference for you to learn and network.