RBCC Networking Blog Series by Alisa Grafton: Networking in the New Normal

As many of you have experienced over the last few months, effective networking in the lockdown is an almost impossible task to achieve. Yet, as I keep reminding my 6-year-old daughter, we will not always be living in these strange times under these difficult conditions. So now is a good time to invest in a plan of short-term step-by-step actions and long-term strategies that underwrite the success of every good networker.

Looking at the list of the skills which are likely to be in high demand in the near future, those that are seen as conducive to increasing productivity feature at the top. This is understandable, as we move towards times when we will need to regain much of the lost financial ground in the shortest time possible. Networking effectively and mindfully, by first pinpointing the right, solution-focused people who can act as the conduit in the industry, is one of the most constructive strategies to increase productivity.

Secondly, whilst there is much that we cannot control at this moment, and the work involved in keeping the business afloat can feel all-consuming and relentless, there is still an opportunity to create. Creating a mind-map and a blueprint of the business on a different scale of productivity will help to gain control over what we can have control right now.

Now is more important than ever to avoid random attempts at networking in favour of a thought-out strategy that will focus on the connections of the right calibre, but even more importantly of the right mind-set. There is little time for the so-called anchors – the people who weight us down and hold us in place – and we should use this opportunity to welcome the “engines” – those who are solutions-focused and are looking for answers even in these extremely challenging times.

Yet being a cock-eyed optimist is an unrealistic image to carry through what is a plainly dramatic time for most. Remembering to acknowledge the vulnerability of people and businesses is an important lesson to remember. And whilst “vulnerability” is not the word that is normally firmly present in the vocabulary of the majority of businesspeople, these are the times to review our vision of the “normal”. To put simply, most of us are vulnerable right now, to a degree. People's circumstances vary widely and whereas there will be those that may be doing fine and are vocal about this, there will be many others that struggle. If this is you, do not be afraid to acknowledge it. Speak out, be honest, yet express optimism and the positive spirit and this may well separate you from the sea of those that carry on living behind the mask.

Business connections that we are building now are both, more significant, and more fragile than ever before. This calls for a thought-out approach to your next networking activities, plenty of infectious good spirit, and a good nose for people who are on the same wave-length yet have the capacity to contribute to that much-needed productivity boost.

Bulletin Online
Bulletin Online

Date Published:

04 June 2020



Alisa Grafton, Cheeswrights LLP