Are You a Passive Networker?

by Hazel M. Walker - July 27th, 2011

As I have been working on the book, Business Networking and Sex, I have been reading more and more studies about women in business. While women are making great strides in the business world, there are still studies being released that say women need to step up their game and be less passive. Here is a small article that I picked up from Woman’s World

Speaking out ups your on the job success!

Quick, which type of female employee do you think a boss is more likely to reward?

One who’s………

A. Nice and focuses on getting along with co-workers

B. Assertive and stands her ground when debating ideas

The answer is B! Women who are assertive at work earn 4% more than their more passive peers, reveals a recent study of more than 5,600 workers. Turns out, women who are overly nice tend to sacrifice their own career success to please others, back down to easily in conflicts and are less likely to ask for a pay raise! The takeaway: While you should not stop being polite at your job (the same study shows that angry employees earn less that everyone else!), try sharing your point of view more often and negotiating pay increases during performance reviews.

This article goes directly to the point I want to make to women who are networking, building relationship, going to events, and who want to grow their business by referral, you have to speak up! I had a young lady, a client, come to my office for upset with on of her friends. They had been friends for a long time, when her friend was putting together a fundraiser for a local charity she ordered T-Shirts from a local company. That company was not my clients company, even though they were friends she had not been asked to give a bid. I suggested that we talk to her friend and find out why she gave the business to someone else.

We called Susan up and we asked her why she had not given the business to her friend Karen. Here is what she said; “I did not think that Karen was interested, she knew I was doing the fundraiser and never asked me for the opportunity to bid on the shirts. I just thought maybe it was not the kind of business that she wanted.” Karen was stunned, it never dawned on her to ask, she thought it was enough that her network knew what she did and they would come to her when they had a need.

Passive networking does not work. If you are not willing to tell people what you want or how they can help you then you will likely not get the help.

The same holds true with referrals, if you want a referral or connection you have to know who you want to be connected too, (not just anybody) and you have to be willing to ask for the connection or referral. Women are great at building relationships that create strong networks, where they drop the ball is knowing and asking for the connections and referrals from that very same network.

So, ladies the next time you are sitting across from someone from your network, speak up, ask for the connection! And always be prepared with three things that others can do to help you. When you are asked, “How can I help you?” by someone in your network, you will be able to let them know just what they can do!

Hazel Walker
Referral Institute, llc
BNI
hazel@bni.com

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