All on the same page

It’s often worth thinking about the reasons why people do things. Perhaps you really don’t know why things that annoy you actually appear quite logical and harmless to others. That’s particularly true in business where understanding customer and competitor motivation helps you to develop your own plans to provide customer satisfaction and increase market share.

It’s worthy of consideration in networking too. Experienced networkers tend to assume that everyone else has the same ideas that they do but inevitably, that’s not always the case. If you actually ask people questions and invite them to write down their own personal answers, the results might be quite surprising.

You might want to know, for example, why people come along in the first place, why they consider regular attendance to be important (or if they do) and how they expect the group or groups to grow. The seasoned networker will be anticipating answers along the lines of a) growing the business, b) developing trust and relationships and c) bringing along visitors with a view to getting them to join. However, these may not necessarily be the answers that you get. Sometimes we think that people have read all the material available which explains the way an organisation works but in reality, perhaps they haven’t and perhaps they didn’t hear things the way you intended when you put forward your take on it in the first place!  It’s often remarkable the way different individuals can place entirely separate constructions on one set of words they all hear at the same time.

Part of the extra benefits gained from membership of a networking organisation is of course aspects of a learning process and it’s well worth taking the opportunity to revisit the basics sometimes to make sure everyone is ‘singing from the same hymn sheet.’ When that’s achieved and any misunderstandings ironed out, it may be easier and quicker to move forward to the position you all want to be in.