Banishing networking nerves

discuss social network, news, chat, dialogue speech bubbles

Networking nerves got you dreading your next work gathering? You’re not alone. In this article, Laura Williams, school business leadership coach, talks about why SBLs should overcome fears to get the best out of every networking opportunity

CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on FundEd

When I hear the word ‘networking’ I think of conferences and strangers and small talk and not knowing anyone and watching uber-confident people striding up to large groups of people they don’t know and introducing themselves…. yep, it’s terrifying.

But, when I sat down to reflect on some of my experiences, I was struck by a sudden realisation that maybe, just maybe, I was better at it than I thought. I don’t consider myself a networking expert by any means but after speaking to others, I realised that I had, little by little, built a network of not just colleagues, but friends too.

When we can surround ourselves with a network – supportive people around us who truly get it, who help connect us to others, make sense of the chaos, and just make us feel like we’re not out there on the fringe – it can give us more confidence than we ever thought possible.

Networking is a powerful tool – especially when you feel isolated or need some support and advice. There is strength in numbers and talking to others within the community can often help to identify and resolve common problems. It is all about networking with purpose! When you have a reason to connect with people in the forefront of your mind, you have a hook, a discussion point or a question that you can lead with, a conversation opener!

The relationships I’ve built have been through giving support, sharing advice and helping people to solve problems – as well as teaming up to amplify the SBL voice. These relationships, my ‘network’, has been born from vulnerability, generosity and a common goal to make a difference.

So, if you’re struggling for confidence, feeling isolated, or just a little too shy to put yourself out there, this is your call to action. Think of all the wonderful things you can learn and achieve by being 10% braver and reaching out. In the end, as SBLs, we need to inspire each other and there is no better way to do that than by sharing our experiences.

Don’t forget to follow us on
like us on Facebook
or connect with us on

This post was originally published on this site