Rod Large, Managing Director and Founder of Smart-Train and Fortune International Ltd: Social Networking and Influencing Skills
Just before COVID-19 cast a shadow over non-virtual events, over 30 BNH members and their guests gathered at North Shore Golf Club.
For more than 30 years, Rod Large has been helping business leaders realise their potential through empowering “nuts and bolts” training programmes. This presentation was typically down-to-earth, packed with commonsense advice and practical exercises.
In order to forge successful relationships and build our network, it is important to understand how we and others prefer to communicate. Rod therefore walked his audience through the four “social styles” (red, yellow, green, and blue), sharing tips about appealing to each and, where possible, how to “be the rainbow”.
Networking events are not supposed to be spent chatting with one or two people that we already know! To overcome shyness, and to make the most of these opportunities, Rod suggested asking a person that we do know to introduce us to someone we do not. That way, our inclusion in a conversation should be softer and smoother. He also encouraged the principle of “psychological reciprocity” or, to put it another way, to offer help before asking for something. That willingness to give before receiving will generally be matched by the other person, even if begins with a simple request to “tell me more about what you do”.
And, even in this increasingly digital age, Rod extols the value of the humble business card. He urged people to look at their own cards and consider what is printed there. Just a name and number are unlikely to spark curiosity or prompt a phone call. Quite often, we may meet someone and then forget who they were and what we found interesting about them. So, he encouraged everyone to write notes on the back of cards they collect at events. Then, shortly afterwards, to e-mail or handwrite a note of thanks to that person – and progress the relationship a little further.