As a business leader, networking is probably one of the key factors that got you where you are today. As you develop others into future leadership roles, it’s important you encourage and support their networking finesse, as well.
Here’s a look at a few different types of networking – and how you can support your managers as they master the best of each of them:
If they’ve reached even middle management level, chances are employees have developed skills in operational networking. This type of networking centers on cultivating relationships with people they need in order to do their job – co-workers, other departments and perhaps vendors, customers or volunteers.
- Keep your eyes open for managers who may not be reaching out widely enough to succeed at operational networking. They may be too bogged down in day-to-day tasks, thus falling short on supporting their own key performance objectives.
Personal networking may become an afterthought for many managers because they simply feel they don’t have time for it. While it’s admirable to skip an after-work event sponsored by their professional organization in order to wrap up a company assignment, in the long run, they may be cheating themselves of a professional growth opportunity. And you know when your managers grow, so does your business.
- Through personal networking, managers benchmark themselves with peers outside your company, share best practices and remain on the cutting edge of their profession.
This is the area where most managers have the most serious networking gaps – and the one that can make the biggest difference in leadership. Regular contact with peers and senior executives in their field is vital. It helps them learn new approaches, keep close tabs on the latest business and technological advances, and create their own career visions.
- Strategic networking enables people to connect with stakeholders and influencers. By connecting with all their contacts, both inside and outside your business, they add value and leverage to their knowledge to make big things happen for your company.
Turn Your Managers Into Master Networkers
Encourage your managers to schedule networking each week, so it becomes a habit. Over the long term, it will pay off for everyone involved.
- As managers move up within a company, doing the actual work themselves should take up less and less of their time. Getting work done through others should increasingly become their focus. By training them to delegate, you will boost overall productivity, keep them happy and engaged, and foster the development of other employees and future leaders.
- Equip your managers with the skills they need to make informed decisions, guide their peers and direct reports, and be better qualified for future opportunities. A good way to start is by taking managers with you to your own networking events. They’ll learn how to forge connections, confidently initiate conversations, and ask for the things they need, as they watch and learn.
Give your management team a boost!
The talent experts at Frontline Source Group can help enhance your management development programs and build future leaders at every level of your organization. Contact us today at our nearest location. We’d welcome the opportunity to meet with you and present to your management team.
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Published on Aug 6, 2018