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Extend your network

By 11th June 2020Opinion

coffee cups on table

Originally published on 11 February 2020. Updated 11 June 2020

Few of us work alone these days. We all depend on others to help us deliver our work, daily, weekly or monthly. We tend to drift into routines. Our networks can become limited. So how can you invest a bit of time to enrich your team and extend your network? And why might you want to do that?

It struck me the other day that the greater our connectivity with each other, the more global our network or partners, the more complex life becomes. Sometimes we fail to notice someone who is feeling a bit below par, miss that we (or someone else) has caused offence and so can’t correct it, or forgot to thank someone for their contribution: we were just sooo busy.

Strengthen your network for the price of a coffee

Here’s a thought to help you through the last dark (and wet) days of winter. Why not invest some time in enriching your network with a month’s focused effort. Take a bit of time to get to know people better. Maybe even buy them a coffee.

  • Make a list of the ten people you interact with most closely or often. Prepare by considering:
  • When and how did you last acknowledge their excellent work and contribution?
  • What question did you last ask them that offered the opportunity to talk about what was most important to them: that day / that week / or this month? Did you start that question with what? I often find this elicits a specific, considered response compared to the more vague “so how’s things going?”

Then list five people who you see less often and know least about personally, but whose work you are interested in or who supports you. Take time to find out more about them. And as a further challenge, make those people, for example, be from a different gender to you, a different ethnicity, or are less able. And repeat steps 1 and 2 above.

Inclusive and Powerful Teams

You will know that at Katalytik we focus on helping people build inclusive and powerful teams, both in higher education and the workplace. We deliver in-house courses and also occasionally offer public workshops that act as taster sessions and share our resources. These can be online or face to face.

The basis of a powerful team is the depth of the relations we build with other people. Where:

  • People know what needs doing, and are empowered to tackle the task in their own style.
  • Everyone gives space to each other to be themselves: space to think, space to connect and relate to themselves and respects and values that others need to get on and get things done.
  • People notice (and invite) other’s contributions. These contributions are acknowledged and appreciated in a way that is meaningful to that person.

UPDATE: Our public workshops were put on hold because of COVID-19. But they are adaptable to online format. If you can’t wait? Then book an ‘in house’ virtual workshop now. Get in touch.