Collaborate (v.) – to work with another or others on a joint project
Network (v.) – to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, especially in finding employment or moving to a higher position
I attend at least three professional networking events per week on average. After having attended so many gatherings, I can gauge a room, scan body language cues and figure out the tone of the event in less than a minute. I know who is there for the food and drinks, who is there to bounce from person to person collecting as many cards or passing out as many as they can, and I also know who is there to truly build business relationships. After a while, meeting so many people gets stale and monotonous because few really take the time to learn the art of networking.
Every now and again I go to an event and after leaving with pockets and/or a purse full of cards I feel refreshed. Yesterday was one of those days. I attended a women’s collaborative networking luncheon with the Dallas-Ft. Worth CEO Space club. I wasn’t really “feeling it” but I kept feeling pressed to be there so I went. I really wasn’t up for another networking event because I had been talking to people all week. I’m glad I went because it was a shift from all of the previous draining experiences I’d had this week.
The very nature of CEO Space’s networking is collaborative. I didn’t feel like I was there to meet someone’s quota of fishing for X amount of leads or as though I’m being force fed a pitch to join a network marketing company (even though network marketers are there). We were put in a position of being servants and givers first. When meeting people, we asked “what are YOU doing and how can I help YOU?”
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