No, not IT networks, or rail networks but group networks.
I’m part of the #MSEBuddyNetwork at work. A group of staff across the Trust who are working to listen, understand, support and care for our colleagues through looking out for each other.
This week’s session was led by Ciara Moore who, amongst other things, runs a network for female leaders over 50 https://instagram.com/fl50_female_leaders_at_50?igshid=10nfkiy9fuqrz. Her enthusiasm and passion for the value of networks really shone through and left us all with a sense of purpose and a call to action.
Networks form in all walks of life, work, social groups, clubs and on line. Both with #bellringing and baking there are groups and online networks who offer support, guidance, advice and knowledge. How we interact with those networls determines our own level of offer that support back to others. It can be a very reciprocal and fulfilling arrangement.
With lockdown restrictions still meaning that we can’t go #bellringing in quite the same way its been important to make use of social media and other tools to stay in touch, to practice our theory and be curious. I for one am hugely grateful for the development of RingingRoom https://ringingroom.com/, the online virtual #bellringing platform that has meant I can continue my theory as well as connect with others, this time from all across the world if necessary. A group of like minded people who all want to support each other.
In the cake world where I would have booked into a class or two to learn a new skill, teachers have been offering online tutorials and attendees can then use the chat facility to ask questions. Other bakers have been generous with sharing their skill and knowledge through social media.
How can we get the best out of networking? Ciara gave some excellent advice:
● Meet people
● Create valuable contacts
● Share best practice
● Be curious
● Celebrate self and others
● Ask for support
● Offer something that people in your networks might benefit from
● Set goals i.e. connect with x new people each week
● Take the first step
● Connect people to other people
● Give some time each day to specifically work on networking activities
My challenge to myself now is to work on my networking skills and see where it leads. I look forward to connecting with you 😁