If walking into a networking event makes you anxious, you are not alone, according to Wendy McManus, Executive Leadership Coach with Connect 2 Potential.
McManus has taught networking skills as part of her group coaching programs for the past two years. It has become clear, she says, that many people struggle with these situations.
The solution, says McManus, is to be genuine, and to work out in advance what that means for you. She has found that authentic networking is easier when you are prepared with a few key elements:
- Core Messages – The phrases you use to speak about yourself and the impact you make.
- Introductions – AKA the “Elevator Pitch”, which includes not just your talking points but also the ebb and flow of introducing yourself.
- Listening Skills – The practice of offering another person your full attention and listening with genuine curiosity.
- Engaging Questions – The most effective way to keep a conversation lively and create a good experience for all involved.
The Authentic Networking Mini-Course is just 15 minutes of video content and three worksheets to help you apply the concepts to your unique situation. The format is designed for busy produce professionals who want to brush up on their networking skills without wasting valuable time.
“My intention with this mini-course is to help people gain confidence and get better results,” said McManus. “I want people to create genuine connections that transcend a single networking event.”
The Authentic Networking Mini-Course is free.
Connect 2 Potential is offering a customized, more in-depth version of the Authentic Networking course as part of a leadership development program for the Southeast Produce Council’s STARS (Southeast Top Agricultural Recruits Scholarship) program. SEPC will bring 14 students from seven universities to attend Southern Exposure. For some of them, the event will be their first large-scale professional networking opportunity.
The STARS Authentic Networking course will help the students feel more prepared and more confident during the event, which will hopefully lead to internships or job offers in the produce industry. After Southern Exposure, McManus will work one-on-one with each of the STARS students to help them amplify their strengths and identify their opportunities for development.
“I’m thrilled to be partnering with the Southeast Produce Council to help the STARS students prepare for success,” said McManus. “It’s an opportunity for me to get involved and make an impact, not just for the students, but for the produce industry firms that may hire them.”
To gain access to the Authentic Networking Mini-Course, click here.