The power of leveraging your network

Three things I learned from Donna Messer

I had the pleasure of attending Effective Networking – It’s all in the Power of Leverage! hosted by Lean In Toronto. The keynote speaker was Donna Messer who shared insights about her extensive network and experience. Donna is a speaker and trainer for ConnectUs Communications. Her background ranges from the banking industry to the state government. She guided us through some great conversations and best of all provided some tips on networking.

Here are some things I learned:

Become an expert: whatever your skillset, become an expert by getting involved with related associations, sitting on boards, or writing articles and blogs. Get involved with groups or activities that will broaden your network and give you an opportunity to build your profile.

Know what you want and ask for it: understand who you are and what skills you can offer. Make sure to assess your needs and try to determine your goals and objectives. Don’t be shy to ask to ask for what you want. Be clear and concise- you might just find what you were looking for.

Give before you take: networking is not a one-way deal. Be sure to treat your network with respect and reciprocate. In fact, the focus of networking should not be transactions based. It should be a forum for discussion and idea sharing. When speaking to your contacts, figure out how you can help them. You’ll actually learn a lot.

Thank you to Donna and Lean In Toronto for a great event and I’m looking forward to following these tips.

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