My Favorite Networking Tip of All Time

I’m in downtown Calgary today at the Women of Influence Luncheon Series.  It’s a pretty big event with over 300 women in attendance!

Now, a room this size that can be intimidating for anyone… even a networking nerd like myself!  So I’d thought take the opportunity to share with you my favourite networking tip of all time…

It’s not uncommon for people to approach a networking event like this with a ‘hunt & conquer’ mentality that asks, “Who’s here and how can they help me?”  Whether they’re trying to uncover new job opportunities or new qualified prospects for their business, their focusing is on what they can take. Their behaviour can seem self-serving and disingenuous.

If this approach seems unsavoury to you, you’re not alone! Happily, there’s an easier and much more effective approach to networking that I call the Give & Take strategy.

First, it starts with a mindset of “What can I give?”  Specifically, what ideas, resources, or information can I share with the people I’m meeting here that will help them?   This automatically puts you in a positive light even with people you’ve just met and reduces the pressure you feel in approaching strangers.   After all, you’re just there to help.

Second, this strategy includes you taking (or rather, asking nicely) for their business card.  This simple act communicates your interest in who they are and what they do AND secures the information you need to stay connected with them.  Go home, invite them to your LinkedIn network, and follow up with the information or resource that you mentioned.   The Give & Take approach!

You never know who you’re going to meet – and frankly that’s what makes these events so fun!   Stop worrying about meeting the power players in the room and how they might benefit you.  Instead, strike up a conversation with the person you get seated next to and try to identify a simple way that you can help them.  Maybe it’s the name of that great new Salon or a business article you read that could help their staff – little things count!

The more consistently you apply the Give & Take strategy in your networking – the stronger your brand will become as being a powerful resource.   Not only that, the connections you make this way will stick; people naturally want to reciprocate and you just never know where that will lead.

After all, the best opportunities find those with a generous soul.




Heather Petherick is a master success coach for high potential business leaders, having established her private coaching practice in 2007. Since then, she’s coached hundreds of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs from around the globe to overcome the mindset traps that keep them playing small so that they can realize their potential and create the impact they’re meant for. Her areas of speciality are: • Mindset • Confidence • Communication • Speed of Implementation Her clients include corporate rising stars at WestJet, Agrium, Suncor Energy, Manulife Bank, TD, Royal Bank of Canada, KMPG and PepsiCo International as well as big-thinking entrepreneurs from around the world. She has been featured as a career and success expert with Women Engineering The Future, The Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Living Magazine and Chatelaine magazine. Heather’s journey from growing up on a humble sheep farm on the prairies of western Canada to building a global coaching business have lent to her signature coaching style that combines both wit and humility, style and business savvy. She holds a Master’s degree in Management and lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband and two children.

2 Responses to “My Favorite Networking Tip of All Time

  • Tania Stilson
    4 years ago

    Great stuff Heather as always. Your tips are always so applicable, meaningful and memorable!

    • Thanks Tania! I appreciate the feedback and wish you happy networking!