Networking aligned with values
I have had some interesting conversations recently with members of our Network group in Chester about the power of Values in Business.
Not financial values – which yes are essential to Business – but that set of guiding beliefs, truths, and guidelines for what we consider important in life.
Many of our Network members have values in their Business that closely reflect their personal values – in most cases because as Family Businesses its the bed rock of not just what they do in their Business but also how they go about running their Business.
Others where its their Business they are building are guided by a vision of how they want to grow their business and the ethics and standards and values they want to permeate through every employee, every customer and every supplier.
Some Businesses have not clearly defined their values for others – and yet when you dig beneath to find out what makes them tick and what they stand for – their hitherto hidden values can be revealed.
Values that define our Members in the Network.
In having these open and meaningful conversations, its clear that our Members share a common set of values with us at The Network Hosts.
Some of the values we have always stood firmly by are;
- Honesty & Integrity
So why are these so important to our Network?
Honesty & Integrity in Networking
We passionately believe and encourage all our members to network with honesty at the heart of what they do. So often it would seem that people may attend a networking event and people are full of “spiel” or “Sales pitch” or “hard sell” which is just not an honest or effective way to build relationships.
Our most successful members are authentically them selves. They do not pretend to be perfect, nor the only expert. They come with an open mind, prepared to have honest conversations. And most importantly – when they say they will do something – they do it. They uphold high standards and principles and are also great ambassadors for members in the Network.
Trust In Networking
We see Networking as a 3 stage process. Our Network events are all geared to providing a format whereby with effort, people can over time get to “know, Like, TRUST” others.
So why is this so important? Well we very much believe that when we get to the tipping point of trusting someone else, all the layers of armour, protection of self, and privacy of Business will start to melt away. When we trust others we feel we can be open, honest and admit where we need help. Bravado disappears, the mask of a brave face slides away and we are ready to reveal ourselves and our Business for an “outsiders” beady eyes.
We never get to trust without 3 things
- Consistency of approach
- Visibility to the Network
- Generosity of spirit to helping and serving others.
Innovation in Networking
Our most successful members in our Network are always innovating.
It may be as simple as a pivot to a new sector.
It may be creating a language to help define how people view and feel about money like the amazing Olivia Stefanino of Be your Own Guru and the Money Types.
It may be an accountancy firm like Morris and Co – where Ian Paterson from their Tax department (Not an accountant!) are targeting highly niche sectors because they have such expertise that can help people – in completely legal AND ethical ways.
It may even be someone who with tried and tested tools can revolutionise a Business that has never before had access to such tools.
Whatever the vision, our Members tend to be revolutionaries! Champions of Change and challengers of the status quo.
Family in The Networking world
Part of what makes us attractive to many people is that we meet mid day, just once a month.
Why does this attract so many people? Well with lots of other networks meeting either early morning, or after office hours, it can be a reall tussle or impossibility to network for some that have families or elderly relatives to look after AS WELL as their job.
So – we provide a warm welcoming and understanding environment that fits with family life.
In addition – with so many people still with us after 9,or 6, or 3 years of membership, it is like a big family meet up once a month – but one where we actually do want to meet! The support and camaraderie is evident at every event. One new member mentioned at their 1st 121 meeting with me the thing that tipped it for them was not the quality of Businesses, not diversity of Businesses, but that a current member, spoke their language. They were open and honest about how tough it can be running a business; what uncertainty they faced about if or when o recruit someone else to support their expansion plans. Its this hidden benefit in the Network where you can talk 121 with openness and honesty – like reaching out to your Business family – that swung it for them.
Generosity and Networking
Be it time, expertise, support, ideas, or a simple smile – the generosity of spirit is what sets our members apart.
Every month we share countless thank you’s, testimonials and shout outs to members. All of them grounded in a philosophy of
- providing great services to other members
- opening doors to others
- coming together to create new opportunities
- referring people to their contacts
- generating interest in other peoples Businesses.
Its this generosity without strings that is really humbling.
One perfect example, never much discussed before is the lovely work and support Oliver and Co Provide Amasing CIC.
Another is where after one of our lunch time speaker slots – a door was opened by one member to another which has resulted in an engagement for that Member.
Finally – a founder member – stepping out their usual referral chain to recommend one of our Members – because its the best fit for their client.
Its these selfless, customer centric, service centric mindsets that really sets out fabulous membership group apart. Their adoption and living evidence of the values we hold dear are what makes us thrive as a Business Network Group.
How do I figure out my Business Values?
Well – that’s easier to do than you think! and it should not take long.
Imagine you are a stick of Blackpool rock! If someone were to splice you down the middle what 5-7 ideals, principle, values would they find that define YOU.
If you struggle with that as an approach then there are a number of “Find my Values” quizes and exercises available – one of the most exhaustive is detailed in this article here.
If you prefer a hand held approach then give us a call – we can work something out!