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The Art of Networking, with Alyce Blum, CPC, ICF, iPEC
In this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit, Jenn DeWall sits down with Alyce Blum, Co-founder of Articulated Intelligence, to talk about the art of networking! After attending numerous networking events as she was advancing her career, Alyce pondered, if networking is so important, how come no one ever taught me how to do it? It’s not taught in school, at home, or at work.
That question led her to start a business where she has been teaching people how to make networking less icky! If you are going to invest time in networking, you owe it to yourself to get a good R.O.N. (Return on Networking). Learn how to move beyond exchanging business cards to make real connections.
Episode Summary Below
Alyce’s company, Articulated Intelligence, helps people learn the language of storytelling to build relationships when networking, pitching, influencing, selling, or communicating with others. They the importance of storytelling in creating deeper, more meaningful relationships. Whether you are job searching, selling, or just want to expand your professional network, learning to make authentic connections is important.
They believe that networking and storytelling are languages that can be learned through practice and feedback and that there is no need for hope in networking when certain techniques and tools are applied. In this episode, Alyce Blum and Jenn DeWall discuss the challenges of networking and the value of meaningful connections beyond job titles and elevator pitches.
Better Networking Starts with Giving More in Value Than You Take in Payment
In a conversation about networking, Alyce Blum shares personal stories about how she has always enjoyed talking and engaging with people. She emphasizes the importance of having a mindset that values giving more in value than what you take in payment and how this can lead to more enjoyable and effective networking.
Alyce also suggests that reframing our mindset and understanding that networking is a reciprocal process can help us approach it in a more positive way. She believes that networking doesn’t have to be solely focused on monetary or tangible benefits but rather on bringing value to other people’s lives.
Successful Virtual Connection Starts with Setting Quantitative Goals
Alyce Blum suggests that it is possible to connect with others successfully in a virtual space. To do so, one needs to set clear goals, which can be qualitative or quantitative, and be more intentional and creative. For qualitative goals, one could set a confidence level scale to monitor how they feel during and after a virtual networking engagement.
For quantitative goals, one could aim to meet a certain number of people or share their contact information with a specific number of individuals. It takes more effort to connect with people virtually, and one needs to be intentional in doing so.
Better Connections Start with Better Questions
Alyce Blum suggests that before attending a networking event, one should set a goal, prepare questions, and research the attendees or the host of the event. She recommends using the first, best, last, or worst prompts to help think of big questions.
For example, one can ask, “What’s been the best part of 2023?” to start a conversation which blocks out all the negative aspects of the year and takes the conversation in a positive direction. She also suggests that these prompts can be useful in internal networking within a company or team. Lastly, she advises that one should take the opportunity to relate to the person they are talking to and create a deeper connection.
Alyce Blum and Jenn DeWall discuss the changing landscape of making professional connections and how to make it more effective and less daunting. They suggest reading the room and acknowledging people’s needs, and using big questions to direct conversations.
They also suggest being intentional and showing up with a positive attitude and energy. They mention the benefits of the virtual world and how it can be less overwhelming than in-person networking events. They also discuss how to avoid “pitch slapping” and “networking on” people and how to make networking more human and less robotic.
The 75% Reconnection Rule for Networking
Alyce Blum suggests the “75% reconnection rule” for networking, which means that 75% of the networking goal should be spent reconnecting with people you already know and trust or with events and associations where you already have established connections. The remaining 25% can be spent on meeting new people, like attending a different type of event or volunteering. This rule makes networking more enjoyable and easier and also helps to build trust faster when asking for help or advice.
Where to Find More from Alyce Blum
Alyce Blum, from Articulated Intelligence, suggests that people can follow her company on LinkedIn or visit their website to access content that provides tips and tools on mastering the art of networking and storytelling.
Articulated Intelligence offers services on networking, storytelling, and more, and they are always ready to help anyone who wants to improve their networking skills. Jenn DeWall encourages listeners to share the podcast with anyone who could benefit from it and to visit Crestcom.com to access complimentary resources on leadership development.
Alyce Blum is a Certified Professional Coach and Co-Founder of Articulated Intelligence. If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy the episode featuring her co-founder, Keith Bailey all about storytelling. You can get more information about Alyce, Keith and Articulated Intelligence on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/company/articulated-intelligence/, or their website: www.articulated-intelligence.com
A Message from Crestcom
Crestcom is a global organization dedicated to developing effective leaders. Companies all over the world have seen their managers transformed into leaders through our award-winning and accredited leadership development programs. Our signature BPM program provides interactive management training with a results-oriented curriculum and prime networking opportunities. If you’re interested in learning more about our flagship program and developing your managers into leaders, please visit our website to find a leadership trainer near you.
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We’re looking for professional executives who are looking for a change and want to make a difference in people’s lives. Learn more about our franchise opportunity on the Own A Franchise page of our website at Crestcom.com.