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Networking - Good For The Brain & Soul.

Dr Dave Nicol & Dr Andy Roark

An observation for you today from my team, something that is useful to understand and I suspect universally true. Even the best of people and teams can eventually get run down, stale and tired. Things need to be switched up.

Often in high performing teams, because high achievers rarely admit to themselves they are feeling exhausted (or not coping), this is seen simply as plateau rather than a decline in output.

Holidays are a good way to combat this, ever notice how high achievers are the worst at booking time off?

But I believe an even better way is to make sure everyone gets out into the world and networks for a few days each year.

In May this year I attended the CVC Virginia Beach conference. (All three of the CVC events are excellent and if you have the budget and can generate the space in your calendar, then I encourage you to make the trip over to the US and visit.)

I was there as a speaker, and I’m grateful to have the chance to educate people. But the other huge payback from these events comes in the form of networking.

Whether it’s floating around the exhibit hall learning about new techniques and technologies or mingling with the other speakers and attendees. I always feel motivated and energised by hearing about the journey that my colleagues have been on.

Over the years I've made some of the best friends and most important connections while on the road. And now, whenever we meet up, we celebrate the successes - no matter the size. We share experiences and knowledge. And our failures feel less calamitous - even humourous) when you hear that many others have experienced comparable difficulties.

The other major benefit is the pattern interrupt effect of taking a break from your life for a week. A change in routine, the long (internet free) flight and a new backdrop all allow you the opportunity to escape the norm and work more strategically.

I typically use this time to do the following:

1. Think: reflect, generate ideas, decide, refocus. 2. Learn. 3. Network.

Of course, one or two cocktails may be consumed in the process too!

Each of these activities: learning, connecting and thinking are essential ingredients for growth and success (cocktails perhaps less so).

So if you feel a little jaded, then perhaps it’s time to get out of your "life cage”, book a ticket to an event you’ve never been to before and jump into a new exploratory adventure.

And if you do then be sure to say hello if our paths should cross. Look for me at the raucous table and don't be shy - you'll be very, very welcome to join.

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