Gender and Networking At 1.25 a.m. CET, on Tuesday 28th June,
I sat flexing my fingers at my keyboard, power napped and double espresso at my side, waiting with eager anticipation for my debut tweet chat with the #leadfromwithin community. Hosted by the ever generous Lolly Daskal it was a topic dear to my heart, Networking and Gender.
Northern Europe had just been struck by storms of biblical proportions. The first calamity was my TV was knocked out of action. For anyone who knows me, this is the second week of Wimbledon, the night before the men’ quarter finals! The second was about to come. My internet connection slowed down to the pace of a drugged snail. The Skype signal disappeared and with it Lolly and after 1 introductory tweet the #leadfromwithin stream drifted into cyber space.
I tried everything I could think of and finally, after 30 minutes, regained some sort of contact. Instead of there being hundreds of tweets whizzing through the stream, a few plopped gently into my line of vision. The tweets I could engage with showed me what I was missing! It was too bad! I was gutted!
This was the new networking at work and I was missing out. Building relationships with total strangers from all over the globe, reaching out and simply getting to know people better. Making connections.
I saw phrases that totally tapped into my own philosophy: be a source, not a resource, be open, give before receiving, behave with integrity, create a dialogue, listen attentively, don’t be afraid of failure and show a generosity of spirit. All of these are key to successful networking. It was great to see to my own thoughts coinciding with the #leadfromwithin values.
But what of the gender difference? Women are generally great relationship builders and tend to be social animals. Research shows, that although both men and women prefer to network with people they already know, men show a stronger willingness to network professionally.
Ladies, this is a lesson we can learn from our male colleagues and connections. We should not be afraid to make the “ask” that scares us!
The #leadfromwithin community is a wonderful place to hone these skills. It is warm, welcoming and inclusive. Lolly is leading by example to create an open community in which we can all get to know each other, regardless of background, profession, and geographic location.
Who knows what will come of these connections?
So what are you waiting for?
Spread the #leadfromwithin word!
Find the ever brilliant Dorothy on twitter and Read Dorothy
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.