Why is networking important?
When we limit our exposure to the thinking and experiences from within our own sphere, we limit our potential. By networking, we expose ourselves to new ideas and relationships that can give us leverage in our work. Networking is the foundation for collaboration which is the great multiplier of outcomes.
That’s why networking with people from all aspects of the recovery and reentry community is at the core of the R3 Collaborative. Strengthening these relationships and working together helps us achieve our common purpose – “creating a more successful path for those who are entering society after incarceration or treatment for addiction.”
Tips for building a stronger R3 networking effort and achieving greater results.
* It’s not who you know, but who knows you: At the beginning of our networking meetings we ask attendees to introduce themselves and their organizations. Getting to know each other is the basic first step in collaboration. We encourage attendees to be well-prepared for their self-introductions, since it is an excellent opportunity to “become known” and the time allocated to this is limited.
* Bring a friend: Our networking meeting attendance typically varies from 30-40 people monthly and there are new faces at every meeting. To add to that audience we encourage our members to invite others to attend with them. We call it our “Bring A Friend” promotion (“BAF”). The sharing of knowledge and caring that they will experience in our meetings is a big motivator to getting people engaged in this ministry.
* Build through purpose: We suggest that you view R3 networking as an element for nurturing the purpose in your life. We grow in multiple ways when we instill purpose into our daily pursuits. Utilize each meeting as a goal step that aligns with the path you are on in your work or vocation. Track your progress and learn from the experience. Having a defined purpose will lead to asking better questions, engaging with more people and acquiring greater knowledge.
* Expand your reach with the human touch: Use the R3 meeting as a jumping-off point for relationship building. Invite members to visit your organization for a tour and chat. Accept the invitation of others when they return the offer. Small group or one-on-one engagements can create high levels of energy and trust. It’s the human touch that makes the “world go ‘round.”