You Don’t Have to be the Loudest Person in the Room
You know where you want to be, you might even know who the people are that you want to be on a level with, working with and being chosen by.
But how do you get yourself seen when the world is so busy? When you feel like you’re invisible in a sea of faces? In my years as a networking specialist, I’ve discovered that one thing and one thing only is the deciding factor.
Time and time again, it’s been the people I’ve met and reached out to that have changed the fortunes of my business, my peers and my clients.
And as I’ve grown my network and continually strived to form meaningful connections with people from many different industries, I’ve seen first hand how those connections and conversations ripple outwards and help others.
There is nothing more powerful than meaningful connections, especially in our online world.
To quote the amazing Brené Brown:
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
And what’s a meaningful connection?
It’s a human interaction. Whether it’s a friendly message across LinkedIn and a compliment on someone’s business or a coffee and a chat face-to-face after sending them a quick introduction, people work best with people they know.
I didn’t purposefully set out to become a super connecter, but as I moved through my career and forged connection after connection, referring people I’d met to others and forming huge collaborative networks, it was perhaps inevitable!
5 Things I Stand For:
- Honesty – always open and honest is the only way to be. Lead with vulnerability. Being upfront about the challenges is the catalyst for positive change.
- Accessibility – Anyone can be part of this. Whether you’re a LinkedIn newbie, a cynic or life long introvert. I adapt to fit what feels right for you and in a medium which suits your learning style.
- Connection – I champion the power of connection and joining dots in our networks to build lasting relationships. I think humans first, technology second. Social interaction and how to be part of the conversation can be learnt.
- Kindness – begin with kindness. It enables learning and opens our minds to new ways of doing things. Generosity without expectations then pass it on. Feels good huh?
- Synergy – finding common ground and ways to truly work better together to create breakthroughs, fresh thinking and more powerful solutions. You can almost feel those neurons firing.
How did it all start?
I was gifted my first typewriter at the age of 10 and it soon became one of my most prized possessions. I spent endless hours typing letters to as many as thirty pen pals dotted around the globe. An early sign of my penchant for LinkedIn, all things social media and my instinctive knack for connecting and nurturing contacts.
I went on to study Honours English and French at university. On graduating I decided that I didn’t want to become a teacher or a journalist (the irony that I now teach and write is not lost on me!). I’ve always been a lover of travel and decided to spread my wings, working in Belgium, Holland and Australia before heading to London.
I became an Executive Assistant and was adept at juggling and throwing to do lists in the air on a daily basis. I enjoyed a background role for 15 years and helped support others to shine in the spotlight. On the face of it, I was thriving but one thing held me back – my fear of social media and how to best use it. As a shy introvert I felt particularly daunted and intimidated by LinkedIn.
I started studying a social media diploma with Pitman Training and the rest as they say is history. I raised my profile and became known among my peers and this resulted in me winning several regional, national and global awards.
Life often has a way of giving us a gentle, or in my case, a painful nudge toward taking action and realising our true purpose. In 2013, I slipped a disc in my back. Forced to step away from my successful career in the corporate world, several months of recovery presented me with time to reflect. The defining realisation was that it was time to follow my intuition and true calling.
I knew that it was connection that was the single most powerful tool we have to get to where we want to go, learn from others and meet incredible mentors along the way.
I had seen so many people give up on their dreams because they couldn’t get a handle on forming connections and networking was too much of a scary word.
And I wanted to help.
LinkedIn is the best platform to initiate connection amongst professionals and yet it’s often under-used by those who need it the most.
Everything starts with a simple connection.
Beyond my network of empowered men and women I count my husband Mike as my greatest champion. True to form, we met online courtesy of Guardian soulmates and are happily married and based in beautiful South Devon.
What lies ahead?
My vision is to empower millions of people to leverage LinkedIn to drive positive change in their lives and others’.
I offer a range of 121 programmes connecting business leaders, educators, coaches, professionals and young people starting out, with the skills to be heard and the tools to amplify their message. Always as a force for mutual good.
If you need help building your confidence on LinkedIn please get in touch.