Woman as an Optimal Networker

When you’re scanning you email for the first time each day, there’s always some post headings that your eyes lock onto above all others. One of my eye-lockers is the Harvard Business Review (HBR).

Now, I didn’t go to Harvard, I don’t have an MBA but I do recognize valued information when I see it. I owe this rich resource solely to networking. A friend and business colleague and I network through FYI messages containing links to things that support our different business endeavors.

One day there was a FYI to the Harvard Business Review. While I don’t read each entry, I scan for topics and themes of interest. Today, I clicked on – Six Paradoxes Women Leaders Face in 2013. The article profiles six paradoxical issues women encounter in business that continue to affect their leadership advancement.

Even if you’re not in the business world I suggest you give it a read as roles of leadership occur in a variety of life experiences.

The paradox that really caught my attention was the one on “networking.”As women, most of use are already comfortable with networking. But according to the authors, Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt (recognized national experts on women’s leadership), as women we are also failing to take advantage of the networking opportunity to help us advance.

Briefly, women who network already:

  •  Bring a talent for good relationship building skills
  • Get positive results from the networking experience
  • Find common ground to address common problems
  • Experience a venue to share information and problem solve
  •  Able to function in a comfortable social environment

Briefly, men who network differ because they:

  •  Treat networking as a transaction
  • Exchange business ideas
  • Offer a favor or advantage as an understood future exchange
  •  Actively look for sponsors
  • Speak up and ask for the “job”

Suggested solutions for women to optimize their networking:

  •  See relationships as opportunities where you need to speak up
  • Ask for assistance and take advantage of the wealth of women knowledge out there
  • Get over making a favor exchange seem sleazy by offering “value” first (the law of reciprocity at work)

With that being said, I’d like to ask three favors of you:

  •  Take this information to heart and go out and optimize your networking experiences.
  • Like this on Facebook
  • Share a FYI message with a friend and colleague.

 In return, I commit to continue to blog out to you the best information my eyes lock onto.

You can read the full article here: