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Want to Make a Difference? Try “Unpacking” Your Network

November 10, 2017
By Russell Correa, Ed.M. (guest blog writer)

A few months ago, I wrote an article for this newsletter on the importance of Networking. At least one person read it as they brought it to my attention a couple of weeks ago at a conference I was attending.

“So I read your article in the Catalyst Newsletter and looked you up on Linked In. Your profile says you have 1,492 connections. Would you mind making some introductions for me?” he said.

“Excuse me,” I responded.

“You are connected to 1,492 people. I’m new to this area. When I went through your network, there were a number of people I’d like to connect with as I think they would help my work in the community I serve,” he responded.

And then it occurred to me; it’s not enough to merely build your network. From time to time, you have to “unpack” your network and see how you can connect like-minded individuals who are trying to make a difference in our communities. So what does it look like to “unpack” your connections? How can “unpacking” your network make a difference?

Consider a recent lunch I was at with a friend of mine who works at a nonprofit located in Overtown. Over the course of our meeting, she shared how her center was in need of some basic infrastructural needs like new chairs so they can attract other agencies and groups to book their center as a meeting and event space. As I racked my brain for ideas, it occurred to me that she didn’t need my suggestions at all. What she really needed was an introduction to one of my connections; more specifically an introduction to the vice president of a local foundation that gives out smaller grants designed just for this sort of need. So I set up the introduction over a group text and encouraged them to see how they can work with each other. A few weeks later I found out that my friend received the grant and is in the process of getting new chairs for her center.

But that wasn’t the end to this particular story. In fact 3 weeks ago, the foundation vice president was looking for a last minute event space for a conference. The event space he had arranged fell through and the conference was scheduled to start in 5 days with about 50 participants. So what did he do? You guessed it – he contacted my friend at the Overtown center and within a few hours the new event space for the conference was all booked. The same conference I attended that started this article, in fact.

So what’s the point of this story? Well to summarize – one Center got new chairs, one Foundation got an event space and all it took for me to make this possible was a text that took me 30 seconds to write. Could all of this have happened without me? Absolutely! But by “unpacking” my network, I facilitated a connection that created a ripple effect of goodness. We can all do the same so share your networks and save the World (or at least Miami).

 

If you would like to learn more on this topic or had questions about my Consulting, Coaching and Training services, contact me at 786.457.5371 or
russell@zetaconsultinggroup.org. You can also visit my website at zetaconsultingfl.com.

About Russell Correa, Ed.M., LMHC
As the Principal of Zeta Consulting Group, Russell Correa brings close to 20 years of experience as a licensed clinician, certified executive coach, HR & Management consultant and trainer to his work. Russell also serves as a board member for Allegany Franciscan Ministries, a funder of nonprofits in the Miami, Tampa Bay and Palm Beach areas.