We, the Irish race, are great for the “ole banter”. We could talk for Ireland and we do talk for Ireland. Most conversations begin with a discussion about the weather. Only in Ireland could you hear “sunny spells, chance of showers, developing into thunderstorms, to clear later with a sharp frost” in one sentence. Unless of course you are in Inuvik perhaps. Here is a very funny one I was presented with by our national weather forecast the other day:
As an Irish born and bred national, I have lived and travelled in many different countries. The experience helps me learn about other cultures and countries, but one thing I realised over the years is that people are the same wherever you go – they are good or they are bad. As a race, we interact at an intellectual level, and tend to seek out similar people as ourselves.
Expanding your Network
The trick really is to look beyond your comfort zone. Look beyond your immediate personal network. Look beyond your social “class” whether that be financially or socially. Look beyond your own capabilities and seek mentors who do things that you think are great.
Build your network. Build your online network through social media, social networking and
blogging. Build your off line network by attending events, training seminars, support groups and meeting people 1-1. I was fascinated one day recently by an info-graphic of my online network on LinkedIn. It seems all my different networks are actually somehow inter-connected, creating quite a bubble:
Well, it seems that despite me having many many connections on LinkedIn, they are closely associated, so that my Coaching buddies are also business buddies, a lot of my local contacts are also related to me in business. Also, that people I did courses with became close business contacts and advocates.
6 degrees of separation
In Ireland, it is safe to say that we do not have 6 degrees of separation, but merely 1 or 2, and 10 minutes will disclose a direct relation, or a mutual friend.
We could take this offline fascinating fact and apply it online: either begin a blog post about the weather (a sure hook) or contemplate the “who is who”. Joking aside, it is more important now than ever to interact online as well as in person. I will put my hand up and claim I have made great contacts online, great associates, great clients, great suppliers and even great friends. But then again I am a very sociable person, but that is not a requisite.
Get out there, meet people in whatever way works for you – large conferences, small network groups or intimate 1-1 meetings.
However you do it – do it! And do it today! The internet will not wait for you. Begin by adding a comment below…