Monday, 27 July 2015

Networking: How being nice can be the best tool

Being nice doesn't stop you being dynamic
Since I set up my business six years ago I've been invited to many networking events. In the early days of trying to get The Pamperbox and Nicky Rockets up and running I went to quite a few general networking events and also a few more specialised meetings aimed at designers.
As with all things some of these get together's were more useful than others. The old school breakfast networking events were frankly just a bit depressing. A mish mash of people all trying to sell their ideas and services to each other and ramming business cards in each others faces before moving on to the next disinterested party.
Being nice is actually a good business strategy
What struck me more than anything was how once some of these so called "movers and shakers" realised that you probably wouldn't be of any immediate value to them the smile would quickly slip from their faces and their eyes would start scanning the room, eager to move on to somebody more useful. 
Early on this instilled in me the fierce belief that being successful in business is not just about networking with the right people but also about being nice in general.
Now I understand that being focused is a huge key in running a well oiled company and that life can't be all raindrops and and kittens, but (and this is a big but) somewhere along the way we were sold a version of what it takes to succeed in business which I think is frankly a bit naff.
Maybe its seeing Sir Alan Sugar bullying his way through the Apprentice week in week out but it seems rudeness and ruthlessness are the new black and its usually most prevalent in those who actually aren't that successful but are climbing up the slippery pole.
The Betty Pamper business school-open for tea,cake and manners
Its been my experience that networking is actually just shorthand for "meeting people" if you treat people with respect and courtesy regardless of the fact they may or may not help your business its like a giant boomerang effect. The good will bounces right back. 
Prioritising your charm and e-mail replies to those you think are "important" is incredibly short sighted from a business point of view. My business referrals have come from so many weird and wacky places often from chance encounters with strangers. 
If you love what you do you should be happy to chat about it with anyone and its simply manners to reciprocate. If someone approaches you for advice, or to suggest a collaboration it takes two minutes to reply even if you know what you are being asked isn't to your immediate benefit.Being dismissive or rude is a sure sign you are believing your own hype and should maybe have a reality check.
For years I worked in huge corporations in management for companies such as Granada TV, the Mirror Group and Sony and have witnessed varying kinds of business styles and I'm yet to see anything which convinces me that acting like a shark, or being rude makes you anymore effective as a professional. It does however make you appear to be a bit of a tool.A very wise friend once told me "be careful who you s**t on on the way up, chances are they will be interviewing you for a job on the way down" 
So don't just "network" be nice with it. The results could surprise you.

This weeks Plus size fashion picks



Big News at  Nicky Rockets  we have just brought out our Curvy As Hell Tees in a range of poptastic colours. Limited stock so be quick.

And if that wasn't exciting enough we have also launched a new plus size yoga inspired design 

Only £15,designed and made in the UK my tee shirts are  a celebration of the power of the curvy woman.Available in sizes small-5XL in a range of cuts and styles Shop here

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