In this episode of The Legal Genie Podcast, your host, Lara Quie, is talking about networking with fellow excutive coach, Ricky Nowak.
Lara and Ricky describe how they network and provide lots of helpful tips and tricks on how to go about it to get results.
I hope that you enjoy this episode.
You can connect with Ricky Nowak on LinkedIn here
And on her website here
· If you liked this episode, please rate the show, and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts to help the Legal Genie reach a wider audience.
· Look out for the next episode coming soon.
You can connect with Lara Quie:
· On LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/laraquie
· Website: https://www.laraqassociates.com
· Or Email at Lara@LaraQAssociates.com
Lara Q Associates
The Legal Genie Podcast Episode 32 Bite Sized BD 2
[00:00:00] Lara Quie: Hello, and welcome to Episode 32 of the Legal Genie Podcast with me, your host Lara Quie. And today we are doing our second session of bite size BD, and I'm here with my friend and fellow executive coach Ricky Nowak. She's a leadership coach and former actor who takes the drama out of coaching and training.
[00:01:00] Lara Quie: Welcome to the show, Ricky.
[00:01:02] Ricky Nowak: Hello? Hello. How are you?
[00:01:05] Lara Quie: I am very well. Thank you. And it's great to see you on this lovely sunny Friday. Thank you. Yeah, so we are going to be talking about networking.
[00:01:16] Ricky Nowak: Well, it's an interesting topic. For some, it's a walk in the park, other times it's a struggle in the dark.
[00:01:22] Ricky Nowak: What is it for you Lara? What do you do that makes networking, not work, but work.
[00:01:28] Lara Quie: It's about whether you approach it with a positive mindset. And I'm definitely someone who really enjoys networking. I don't really see it as networking, to be honest. I see it very much as making new friends.
[00:01:45] Lara Quie: And I think that as an adult, you're never too old to make new friends. And so, strangers are people that you just haven't met yet. So, they're friends you haven't made yet. And what is networking? So actually [00:02:00] networking comprises three elements. So building and developing long term professional relationships, which are mutually beneficial, not just for you, but the other party as well.
[00:02:13] Lara Quie: And that lead to a positive outcome in the end. So hopefully because it's a professional situation, you do actually get something out of it and that can. Just a very nice friendship, someone great to spend time with perhaps a buddy to go along to networking sessions with and things like that. Or it may lead to ultimately the golden egg, which could be a referral, a piece of business, an opportunity, but something positive. So, a mutually beneficial, long term relationship that leads to a positive outcome.
[00:02:47] Ricky Nowak: I think you're absolutely spot on with that. And I find sometimes when it seems to have been pushed too fast, when you don't have the relationship and somebody's asking too much of you it's a bit like [00:03:00] spam in your email or in the letter box, when you feel that it's being forced on you.
[00:03:05] Ricky Nowak: And there's a resistance to accept the invitation or the communication, because then it no longer feels authentic. And as you said, networking can be a number of things. Tell me a little bit about the first one, which was just the part of building a relationship. What do you do that makes building relationships, enjoyable for you, as well as others that you talk to?
[00:03:35] Lara Quie: I think I'm a very naturally curious person, genuinely interested in other people. So I always have questions. When I meet someone new, I'm really interested in them, but I'll observe them and think about what might be a relevant question for this person? How can I ask something that's going to help me find commonality?
[00:03:56] Lara Quie: I think for me, I try to build on those common [00:04:00] elements. Things that we share that help us connect on a deeper level. So for example, if I go to an event here in Singapore, if I meet someone that I think, looks interesting and open, I'll walk up to them and start with something really simple like what brings you to this event? How did you hear about it? Is there anyone else here that, you know? Tell me a bit about how you spend most of your time. Have you been in Singapore a long time? There are questions that you can easily ask that are quite innocuous and I think it is important for you to gauge exactly the other person's reaction.
[00:04:38] Lara Quie: Do they look distracted? Do they look happy that you've approached them? Are they open? Listen deeply to their answers? I think that's what I do and respond with, to show that I've listened. So when they reply with something, I make sure that my reply is then also very relevant and that we can go deeper in that direction, but also just, pay attention to their tone, their pace and their body language as well.
[00:05:06] Ricky Nowak: You're absolutely right. And I think the essence in there is resisting the temptation to give as much as you can, at that point. What I've found in networking here in Australia is that the key is people generally like to talk, but if you, fill up the other side of the equation with all about you.
[00:05:29] Ricky Nowak: They lose the interest. So keeping the interest in them, not forcing them to keep answering questions, great ways to say, oh, tell me more about that. Or how does it happen like that? What did you do to make that work? Rather than just firing off random questions, one after another, and they put up the barrier to do it.
[00:05:49] Ricky Nowak: But what happens for example, Lara, when you go somewhere and people don't respond to those, fairly friendly questions. But they don't bite. For example, they're not engaged. They're distracted. What do you do?
[00:06:03] Lara Quie: I must say it is very rare for someone not to be receptive. Usually those are events. Well, no, people have gone to the event with the specific intention of meeting others. So I think people should go with the right mindset. But if they're distracted, say they've gone to meet a friend there and they're looking around the room, looking for that person.
[00:06:25] Lara Quie: I think it is important to gauge that before you approach someone. But I think you can generally trust your instincts. What's your gut telling you about this person and how receptive they are and whether you are on the same wavelength? And sometimes that person just isn't in the right mood and that's fine, but I think you should realize that and quickly move on.
[00:06:47] Lara Quie: And, I don't think you need to take anything personally. You can just think actually it wasn't the right time for that person, but also to expect that you will not click with every single person. It's just human nature. Some people are from your tribe and some people are not, and that's fine.
[00:07:06] Lara Quie: So you are just in the exploratory phase. Having a look around, seeing who looks nice and open and someone that you could have a chat to and see how it goes, but I wouldn't take things too seriously. I think, if you keep it light-hearted, and you are there with the intention of just being friendly, then it can really go places.
[00:07:27] Lara Quie: But how about you, Ricky? Do you enjoy networking and what would you say about your networking style?
[00:07:33] Ricky Nowak: Thanks. Yeah, I do enjoy networking. In fact, I love to observe before I go in and I feel if I do my homework before I do my mouth work, and I find out who else might be there, where are the similarities where, the complementarity of our work and who might be coming along to that event, that would be great for me to have a conversation with, or actually be introduced to. Then I feel, as though I've got some value to bring to the conversation because, I think people are busy and while they do want to come to an event, they do want to get some value from the event. So I try and come prepared with some relevant information, a little bit of research on the topic itself, on the speaker, perhaps if there's a speaker on the day. I find out, who are the key players in the room and what has brought them to the event and see if I can bolt on my conversation to something that's really important for them. Because as professionals, time is important to us. And I don't want to walk away thinking I wasted somebody's time by conversations that didn't land somewhere.
[00:08:49] Ricky Nowak: Didn't give them a chance to say, that's interesting. Let's have a follow up conversation or, oh, why don't we talk about this in, in a different way, maybe over lunch or come into the office. And if there is no opportunity to reconnect. That's actually fine for the moment, but can you walk away, and say, well, does that person give me permission to contact them perhaps at another time without harassing them to sell them something or offer them something, just because we share something in common, like a sporting game or, kids clubs or, holidays, something that is a common point of interest and that's what I love to do. So, I love networking and I have a lot of fun, but I do take it seriously, because I want to make sure that the people that I connect with, feel that there's value in the conversation at whatever level it might be.
[00:09:50] Ricky Nowak: So, we've got lots of events here in Australia coming back on popularity again, since COVID is, now everything's open again. How are people meeting now in Singapore? And what are you doing to get to these events?
[00:10:03] Lara Quie: Singapore has opened up recently. The restrictions on numbers have been lifted. People are still very cautious using masks and things, but very keen to get back to a social setting. And I have been to three networking events recently, and I've been so pleasantly surprised to see the energy from people. They are so keen to be back in person to be catching up with old friends, meeting new friends.
[00:10:30] Lara Quie: The first thing that everyone says is, oh, I feel a bit out of practice. Yeah. And it's true, right? Because these were events. Certainly, in my role in business development, I would go to every week, many events, seminars. Proper networking events and dinners and lunches, et cetera, with groups. And so it is a muscle that you need to exercise.
[00:10:54] Ricky Nowak: Yeah, sure.
[00:10:54] Lara Quie: And it is something therefore, the topic for today because of the feeling that people may have forgotten some of the networking tricks. And I think your point about, doing the homework before the mouth work. Really a key one because it is true that it is very easy to just show up somewhere, but actually to go prepared in some way, if it is possible, that I think is very relevant.
[00:11:22] Lara Quie: And even if you're not able to prepare perhaps in advance, one good trick that I love to do is when I arrive at an event that has name tags. I ask at the reception area, "could I have a quick look at the registration list?" So I quickly scan that list to see who's there that I already know.
[00:11:43] Lara Quie: And any names that I recognize that I might want to meet, because then you get a feel for how many people have registered? Who's here already? Because you can see their names ticked mm-hmm who's expected? And who is there that you already know? And when you're feeling a bit intimidated in a large room, it's great to see a name that you recognize and think, oh my goodness, my friend such and such is here. That's great. You can see that it's ticked off. They've got their badge. You go in there and you look around for them. That gives you the confidence you go up. " Hello. Great to see you. How are you doing?" get that conversation started. That's very easy. And then hopefully you can say to them, "Is there anyone else here that we can go up and start a conversation with?"
[00:12:29] Ricky Nowak: Yeah.
[00:12:29] Lara Quie: And that gets you going because otherwise it can be really intimidating to go to an event if you don't know anybody. But I always look at the room and I'll make a bee line for anyone who looks awkward.
[00:12:43] Lara Quie: So someone standing on their own looking awkward, someone slightly off to the side or someone hovering near the drinks. Those people are easy targets because they will be grateful to you for coming up to them.
[00:12:56] Ricky Nowak: That's very interesting. And I think that, we all could learn from that as well. One of the tips that I could add in there is, rather than walking into a crowded room and panicking a little, is I always say arrive early and leave late. So by arriving early, you set the scene and don't go to the edge of the room, go into the middle of the room. And your body language is facing the door and that way you have got an opportunity to smile and show your true personality when others enter the room.
[00:13:27] Ricky Nowak: And you gesture with your hand out to say, "hello, please join me." And you bring them in. A couple of things I do on that. I don't take a drink in my hand because I don't like to shake somebody's hand when I've been holding a cold glass of water with ice. And then I, I feel like I've got a clammy hand, so I don't, hold food or drinks in my hand when I'm saying hello at those instances.
[00:13:49] Ricky Nowak: I make sure that my hands are actually free so I can gesture and I can talk. If I've got a handbag, I usually have it over my shoulder. And in the outside of my bag, I've got some business cards, for those who still want business cards, most people are just happy to scan it or, you can get their details, but, I do have it on hand if they want. But I don't force my business card on someone anymore unless I feel that, it's going to be, genuinely wanted. Because it, it puts people in a compromising position to have to accept it. But I will talk about their name, where it comes from.
[00:14:26] Ricky Nowak: Do I pronounce it correctly? All of those things that, start the conversation, and welcome others as they're coming into the room. And I've done this a few times. I'm wondering if you do too, that when people are coming into the room and they don't know anyone, you gesture and you bring them to your group as well. It's friendly and all of a sudden, you've got a group of people around you and you're not locked into being with the one person who you know, which is a bit of a trap because sometimes you don't really leave them because it's comfortable. What do you do when you walk into a room?
[00:15:00] Lara Quie: That's so true. I think body language is essential as you say. Good open palm gestures, lots of signalling, lots of showing that you are open, that you are ready to be friendly. It's really important for people to see that visually and feel that from you. So I agree. And I think that getting there early is definitely a great move.
[00:15:21] Lara Quie: So I often do that as well, but sometimes inevitably, if I arrive a bit later, then you know, the room is already there, but I try to find, a group that looks open. So not a closed circle, but an open circle. And when I join that circle, I always try to leave that open as well. And I will try and bring people in.
[00:15:40] Lara Quie: If I notice somebody hovering on the outside, I will bring them into the group. I think that's really important because everybody can identify with how awkward it can feel if you've arrived somewhere and you're on your own, and you're not in a group.
[00:15:53] Lara Quie: And lots of circles look very closed. It can feel very hostile. So it's important to notice people hovering and to see that as an opportunity to bring someone in. And they, obviously they. Do, react in a very grateful way as well, which is wonderful. So, that's a great way to help others, to let them come into your group, introduce them.
[00:16:13] Lara Quie: It's a good way for you to remember the names of the people that you have just met as well. And so that's a good technique. Another thing on names is when you meet somebody, you should always repeat their name. So I go, "hello, I'm Lara." And you say:
[00:16:30] Ricky Nowak: “Hi, I'm Ricky.”
[00:16:32] Ricky Nowak: “Hi, Ricky. It's great to meet you."
[00:16:35] Lara Quie: I then have said your name and the act of me saying your name helps me to process that and remember it more than if I just think in my own mind. Oh, she's called Ricky. How can I remember? So that's quite a good little trick. And then when you introduce other people then obviously saying the names of people again, will help to cement that in your mind.
[00:16:57] Ricky Nowak: Remembering names is very difficult. I came from a teaching background, so if I didn't remember the names of students, I could get myself into tricky situations. So, I do and here's the thing I call it paying attention to your intention. So I paid attention to actually remembering my intention was to remember if you have no intention of remembering and you are consumed with what's going on, you are actually not listening to what somebody's name is.
[00:17:22] Ricky Nowak: So you've got really no, no chance to remember, because in the first instance, you haven't even heard it. So I pay attention to my intention and I repeat it, but I try and find sometimes that doesn't work enough. So I look for a hook like a rhyme or something that makes a connection. So for example, If I meet somebody called Paul, I have a brother Paul.
[00:17:45] Ricky Nowak: So in my mind I go brother Paul, or if I meet a Diana, I'd say, oh, Princess Diana. So I look for a celebrity or a person. If it's a Joe, I say, I've got an Uncle Joe. So I go, oh, Uncle Joe. And that's just my personal way of making that connection. It could be, Pretty Polly or whatever it is. And you've got to do it that you don't say it out loud, of course, but that's your cue.
[00:18:13] Ricky Nowak: But, I would say paying attention when you first listen is one of the greatest gifts that you can have because you'll remember it long after the event and take that card and write something on the back of their card about them. So you've got that memory, to jog. We've been talking about the event, but how do you follow up afterwards?
[00:18:32] Ricky Nowak: Because it's well and good to have a great time and you take cards. So what do you do to follow up and make sure that that relationship is sticky?
[00:18:41] Lara Quie: I think that LinkedIn has given us a gift when it comes to follow up. So if somebody has given you their card, you can very easily look them up on LinkedIn.
[00:18:51] Lara Quie: And then you reach out to connect with a personal message. It was great to meet you at X event. Yeah. I enjoyed our conversation. I think we work quite nearby. Would you be up for a coffee sometime question mark. Best wishes. And then you send that and you wait to see what happens. And, majority of people are on LinkedIn, so they should see that message at some point. Some people are very active and reply immediately, which is fantastic. Others, take a few days, it's fine. But I do find that in the majority of cases, people know who you are. They remember the conversation. They connect with you and usually they say, yeah, absolutely, let's go for a coffee, when are you free?
[00:19:34] Lara Quie: And that is just wonderful. So that definitely, is the easiest way for me, certainly, using LinkedIn. But you could also use email, if you want to, or if they mentioned anybody that you have in common, you might use that way.
[00:19:49] Lara Quie: So you get in touch with your friend, who you have in common and say, "Hey, when we met Joe the other day, it'd be great for the three of us to go for lunch. Do you want to reach out to them? And let's all go. "
[00:20:00] Ricky Nowak: That's a great idea.
[00:20:01] Lara Quie: You can use that as well. That's a very gentle and indirect way. So, other things like that, I think they work really effectively, but I would say that during the event, for me, I do like to have deeper conversations with some select people. So, what I do is I'll go in with the intention of only making one or two new friends. I think a lot of people enter a networking, wanting to meet 40 50 people and give out, a hundred business cards.
[00:20:32] Lara Quie: I never do that. I'm much more interested in meeting someone who I'm definitely going to follow up with someone that I genuinely think, oh, this is a person that I'll get along with. I want to meet them again. So, I will have slightly deeper conversations with maybe one or two people, but during the time I may be filtering through.
[00:20:54] Lara Quie: So I might meet say 10 people at the event, but in a kind of a filtering way to just understand who are the people that actually, I will have a long term relationship because that's, as I mentioned in my initial definition of networking, it is the intention to form a long lasting relationship that is mutually beneficial. So sometimes you'll meet someone and you'll just know, I just don't have anything in common with this person. We are just not going to get on. So, there's very little point actually in continuing that conversation very long. So you can just politely bring somebody else in, introduce them to someone else or find a way to find the next person with whom you'll probably have more in common.
[00:21:38] Ricky Nowak: That's one of the things that I've just done, if I get to that situation where I feel it's, not going anywhere, I'll say, "it's been so lovely talking to you, and I'm sure you are here to meet a number of people as well. So have a wonderful morning or afternoon and, enjoy and we shake hands or nod or whatever it is.
[00:21:58] Ricky Nowak: And everybody's quite relieved because otherwise it can actually get quite strained. But what about if you ask for a specific introduction to somebody, and you go over to them and say, "I knew you were coming today. Or I asked to be introduced to you because I'd love to talk to you about your role or the work you're doing or what I've observed in this area. Would you be interested in another conversation outside the forum today?" Would you do something like that or do you find that's too pushy?
[00:22:30] Lara Quie: Yeah, that's really not my style at all. Firstly, I definitely am not as prepared and intentional as you, when it comes to networking. I'm much more a, oh, I'll look at the names on the door kind of person or, I might have a sense of who's going, especially if they're speaking.
[00:22:47] Lara Quie: But I'm yeah, I'm not really like that. I'm much more, see who's there. yeah. See where the conversation takes us, get a feel for that person then and there, and then feel whether it looks like it'll be a good relationship going forward and I should follow up. As you say, if there is somebody really key there that I would like to meet, but I would just go up and start the conversation and just really see if we can build on that relationship.
[00:23:16] Lara Quie: And if we feel that is going well for both of us and they look equally keen to, to follow up with me then that can lead there naturally. But yeah, I would definitely not try to be as targeted and direct as that.
[00:23:29] Ricky Nowak: Well, I think what you're saying too, is that there's no one right way to network. You've got to feel it's authentic. You've got to read the room. You talked about reading the room, and you've got to do it in a way that makes you the best you can be and not intimidate or overwhelm somebody else. So you've got to know where your strengths are, don't you when it comes to networking? But what happens if, you think you want to meet someone, but you can't get to them because they're surrounded by lots of other sharks, who [00:24:00] are buying their time or they're gatekeepers and they're busy in a conversation. Is there some way that you've been able to penetrate that group to make sure that at least you've had that initial introduction to them?
[00:24:14] Lara Quie: I would say that, if it's at the event, if I am at the event and I desperately want to meet them, I'll just hang around, hovering around, ready to pounce. So I have done that, particularly with speakers. So, as you say, someone gives, a talk, then there's networking and lots of people are hovering around.
[00:24:33] Lara Quie: I'll wait my turn to genuinely say hello with the intention of then following up later so that I can refer to the fact that I've said hello. So I find though very interestingly that most often, if somebody has given a talk or something, very few people will go up to them and thank them for their time.
[00:24:56] Lara Quie: Thank them for their presentation. Yes. It's really interesting. You can go to a massive conference, and they'll be a hundred people in the room. The person will get off the stage and stand at the side. Hardly anyone says hello. And so I always take that opportunity if I've been impressed and found their uh, contribution, helpful. I will make a point of going up to them because I know how much effort and time, and also, emotional turmoil, it takes to go up and present. So I understand that. And I want that person to know that there are people in the audience who appreciate that. And also, I've gone to see their talk because they are an authority in that area.
[00:25:37] Lara Quie: And what they had to say is of value. So it's great to go up to them and be one of those only people who say, wow, that was, fantastic. I really valued what you said there. And I'd love to connect and this and that. So, doing that is very powerful. If you are not able to really engage with that person there and then.
[00:25:55] Lara Quie: Reach out on LinkedIn. I saw you at XYZ. I thought your [00:26:00] talk was amazing. Thank you so much for doing that. I'd love to hear more about your thoughts on this blah, blah, blah. Let's connect. So again, use LinkedIn or, find their website and their email and refer specifically to the thing that you attended.
[00:26:15] Lara Quie: Because I think so long as you've personalized and you give evidence of the fact that you were there at this and oh, I really wanted to speak to you, but you had so many people who wanted to speak to you, so I wasn't able to, but I'm reaching out here. That's nice instead, just be it natural as you.
[00:26:32] Ricky Nowak: So people have often very well intentioned like yourself, to do that. And we send emails and through LinkedIn and people respond, say, yes, it would be lovely to catch up. I'm busy at the moment. I'll get back to you. Or, yes, let's and that's it. And they aren't obviously well intentioned most of the time.
[00:26:50] Ricky Nowak: But, a month, two months, three months goes by and you've sent an email perhaps, or you've left a message on their phone. You've tried again through LinkedIn, and you hear crickets. You don't hear back, but you had this lovely interaction at an event and yes, they gave you a sign or a cue that they were keen. That's when networking can get a bit tricky. What do you do in the event of you got the right signal, but then nothing happened?
[00:27:19] Lara Quie: I think if you really genuinely feel you got the right signal, I think you can rely on the fact that person's just genuinely busy or forgotten. We all have exceedingly busy inboxes and busy lives.
[00:27:32] Lara Quie: So just assume they definitely want to hear from you. And so make it easy. So in, let's say on linked. You've connected. And you've initially said, Hey, let's go for coffee. They've then connected and replied. Yes. That would be great. You then look at your diary and you select three dates usually in two or three different weeks, and you say, I am free Monday [00:28:00] at three o'clock, the following week, Friday at four and blah, blah, blah. If any of these don't suit you, please suggest another time. Make it easy. So none of that. When are you free? When are you free? You can do ping pong for years. For years. No, you are specific. You say I'm free at these three times.
[00:28:20] Lara Quie: if not, when is good for you?
[00:28:22] Ricky Nowak: mm-hmm
[00:28:22] Lara Quie: They will usually fit one of those three.
[00:28:24] Ricky Nowak: Agree.
[00:28:25] Lara Quie: Almost always, if not, they then appreciate the fact that you've been specific and they will provide you with, "actually I'm traveling. I'm going on holiday, but I'm back on, 6th of June and actually I'll be free on this date or this date."
[00:28:42] Lara Quie: So they usually respond in a specific way as well. So when you are intentional and you do slightly more work, the other person does usually respond. But if they say, oh, I'm actually going away for two months, would love to see you when I get back, you can either say, they're blowing me off or you can say, okay, I'm just going to put a quick reminder in my diary. And I put that in. Or, if I I really want to see that person I'll put in my diary, Ricky back from holiday and that will show up. I'll go back into my LinkedIn again and go, "Hey, I guess you're back from holiday now. How was it? Do you want to catch up for that coffee? I'm free on X, Y, Z. "
[00:29:29] Lara Quie: If at that stage, they've forgotten completely who you are and they genuinely don't want to see. They won't reply, but if they actually did want to see you and they've genuinely been on holiday and they're back, they'll be like, "oh, great. Thanks for picking this up again. Yes. I'm now free X, Y, Z." Honestly, I have had that happen so many times because people around here, they do travel all the time. People are genuinely busy. But I think if you make it easy and you follow up, majority of people say, wow, thanks for following up.
[00:30:00] Ricky Nowak: I love that. There's another expression we use here too called, give without expectation and receive without forgetting. And I think in networking to me, it's about, being generous. If you do go to meet someone or you offer them, something to give, that's going to enhance some knowledge or an opportunity or a connection that, they can make as well, but it's not just about the giving. It's also about receiving without forgetting to say thank you or forgetting to acknowledge something that they've done. What do you do about acknowledging and thanking?
[00:30:42] Lara Quie: I make sure, as you say, I am always expressing my gratitude and always thinking of that other person in terms of what can I give them? How can I be helpful? Having a helpful attitude is so important to relationship building so that's why you ask the right questions. When you are building that relationship. Who are the kind of people you would like to meet?
[00:31:04] Lara Quie: What kind of work, do you do? Who would be useful for you? And then always thinking about, key words. What are the key words for that person?
[00:31:14] Ricky Nowak: Give me an example.
[00:31:15] Lara Quie: So, for example, in the legal industry, I'll be thinking of lawyers and somebody, might be, in shipping and they might want to meet somebody in particular.
[00:31:25] Lara Quie: But if something comes up that would mean that they're the right person. And I meet someone I'll try and connect them. I thought of you because this person wants to meet this type of person. So the other day, for example, I was coaching somebody and they mentioned their passion for financial literacy amongst women.
[00:31:45] Lara Quie: So I said, well, you have to meet this lady who's founded, a fund for women and who's actively promoting financial literacy for women. You have to connect on LinkedIn. So I did the introduction. It's those kind of things. But, definitely givers gain. I don't know if you've ever been a member of business networking international BNI.
[00:32:05] Ricky Nowak: Yes, I have, BNI.
[00:32:06] Lara Quie: BNI is very powerful because you are there to help each other and givers gain. And that mantra I think is really important because so many people do go into networking with, I want to get. It's not, you want to get, you will get, but only if you give. And so karma is there. If you are a giving person and you put things out there, you're constantly, adding value, connecting people, you mustn't expect to get something back directly.
[00:32:38] Lara Quie: So it's not that, I give a referral directly to Ricky. Therefore, Ricky needs to give me one back. It's not like that. I might give a referral to you, Ricky, but actually you tell somebody else that, I gave you a referral and that person then goes, oh, wow. Oh yeah. I remember her.
[00:32:55] Lara Quie: Yes. Actually, I have a referral and it will come back indirectly. So you always get something back, but you mustn't be counting, and you mustn't be out there with that greedy attitude. You've just got to send things out into the universe. And be yourself and just really, not expect anything.
[00:33:15] Lara Quie: And actually, when you've got low expectations, that's when you are so pleasantly surprised. Isn't that what you found as well, Ricky?
[00:33:23] Ricky Nowak: Well, it's not about low it's just, but for me it's about, realistic. What can I expect at the level of the relationship that I might have with that person at that time?
[00:33:34] Ricky Nowak: Because unless I've earned their trust in some way, I can't expect someone to give me a referral if they don't know enough about my work as a leadership coach and presenter. So they might say, she seems nice. She's done all the right things, but, if I'm going to refer her into my network, I've got to know that she's going to deliver fantastic results.
[00:33:57] Ricky Nowak: And I would be proud to have her as a referral because their reputation is on the line as well. So every referral I get, I really feel that I've earned the right. Because I've demonstrated my work and my value for my clients to say, Lara, I'm working as an executive coach for leaders and professional services.
[00:34:20] Ricky Nowak: With your network, I would appreciate a referral directly into X industry. And if you feel that's valid, you'll say, yes, I will directly connect you with Peter or Mary or whoever it. But if I ask you without earning a trust, you might say yes, let me think about it, but you're not going to do anything about it because there's an unease about that because I'm not qualified.
[00:34:47] Ricky Nowak: And that's part of the giving. I'll be really happy to give. But I've got to make sure that I'm giving to people who have earned the trust as well. So, that can get a bit tricky sometimes if people pressure you, can't it? But I know you and I've known you for ages, you could be referring me or telling me. How do you handle that when people might want those referrals, or the introductions to your network but you're still not sure? What do you do? I think that can be tricky sometimes.
[00:35:18] Lara Quie: Yeah. As you say, it depends on how well you know that person, but also what is their intention? I must say that I am much more lighthearted in terms of connecting people. And I think the problem is for me when, through LinkedIn, for example, a lot of people reach out to me and say, can you connect me?
[00:35:38] Lara Quie: I know that you are connected to such and such. Can you introduce me? The thing is if I don't genuinely know that person, then I don't feel that I'm in a position and I'll have to go back to the and say, I'm sorry, I don't actually know them. I am connected. But I don't know them personally, so I cannot introduce you.
[00:35:55] Lara Quie: But I will find out their intention. If it's somebody I do know, then I'll find out, why do you need to be connected to this person?
[00:36:01] Ricky Nowak: Fantastic. Yeah. Great answer.
[00:36:02] Lara Quie: If they have value to offer and I feel that it would be of benefit for my connection to be connected, then I'm happy to connect them and just say, " this person, I have met them in this context. They do X, Y, Z. Yeah. They have asked me for an introduction. I don't know them that well. But you seem to, do this and this, and here is what it is. So I try not to take it too seriously. And yeah, I assess every case, but I do try and be helpful and connect people.
[00:36:29] Lara Quie: But anyway, I know we need to wrap up. So I'm just going to conclude on some golden rules for networking. So quality, not quantity. Go in there with a helpful mindset and just try and meet a few good quality contacts that you are going to follow up with to build meaningful relationships. Be yourself and authentic, but play the long game. Assume that you're going to have a long term relationship with these people and lead with a very helpful mindset. Like we said, "givers gain". We talked about that.
[00:37:04] Ricky Nowak: Yes. Yes.
[00:37:04] Lara Quie: And always follow up. Any other tips as well from you, Ricky?
[00:37:09] Ricky Nowak: I love what you said about the givers gain. One thing I would say is, something I learned when I was teaching performance is, networking can be a little bit like a trailer for a movie.
[00:37:19] Ricky Nowak: Don't give the whole movie away in one mouthful, because it's oh, I'm not going to remember all that. Or now that I've got everything, I don't need to come and see you again or talk to you again. So, as you said earlier, being insatiably curious and giving just enough that people go, tell me more is where you want it to be.
[00:37:37] Ricky Nowak: So, they come back and you can have some lovely dynamic conversations in the future.
[00:37:43] Lara Quie: That's a great point. And, I think, we can leave everybody on the edge of their seats, they'll want to know more about networking from us. So, we will end on that note. So, thank you so much for your time today, Ricky.
[00:37:56] Ricky Nowak: And thank you, Lara. Thank you. [00:38:00]