I was reminded of the power of networking recently when I was invited to join a group of business leaders in their monthly gathering. The group is comprised of leader/owners of small to medium-size businesses. They’ve been meeting for several years to discuss the day-to-day successes and ongoing challenges in their business(es). Everyone contributes by sharing their status update and everyone is expected to respond by providing feedback. So each business leader gets multiple perspectives on how they might address their challenges. And they get applauded for success such as business growth.
What surprises me about this group is their focus on supportive feedback combined with a celebration of success. Being listened to by a confidential group of one’s peers with constructive ideas is powerful stuff, and this is followed by a shared celebration of your attained goals. A very affirming experience.
Networking has so many benefits from generating referrals to raising your profile to building relationships. And this group’s purpose is certainly about all of that. Being a small business owner is lonely at times, so finding support in the form of encouragement balanced with objective feedback is invaluable. And celebrating successes can be a gift that we rarely give ourselves.
In this group I experienced the power of networking in community, the power of listening, begin heard, engaging with peers, providing feedback, and the power of recognizing and celebrating successes with peers.