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Maximising Impact and How to Network

By Tony Koutsoumbos, fundraising and communications careers specialist 

This month’s networking night at the I Am Group trialed a brand new feature – a workshop on how to network, led by yours truly, followed by our usual format of a short talk and drinks reception.

Aimed specifically at professionals who get easily intimidated by the prospect of walking into a room full of strangers, this one hour workshop laid on a series of exercises for delegates to put the techniques they were learning into practice. These included:

  • Simulating a networking event in which each participant was tasked with speaking to at least 3 people and finding out one thing they had in common with them;
  • Leading a discussion on the challenges of starting and ending conversations and how to overcome them;
  • Asking each delegate to brief the person next to them on how to introduce them and testing the accuracy of the intro that followed to see if they are sending new contacts the right messages about themselves.

After the workshop, we heard from organisational development consultant, Tiffany Missiha of Connectwell, on how to maximise impact through adjusting personal behaviour.

Tiffany’s thought provoking presentation gave us three key tips for maximising impact:

  1. Gain perspective
    Consider other people’s perspectives and not just your own, which you can achieve by asking for and (crucially) listening to feedback
  2. Know your why
    Never try and talk someone round to your point of view until you fully understand the ideal outcome you wish to achieve and can explain what’s in it for them.
  3. Leverage diversity
    Take a moment to consider other people’s preferences, such as the way they communicate and the way they work, so you can understand exactly what they need from you.

The next event on the I Am calendar is one we’ve been looking forward to for some time, fundraising for unpopular causes in partnership with the Major Donor Fundraising Special Interest Group, on Wednesday June 10th. If you haven’t already booked your ticket, you can check out the details and book your place here.

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