Authentic Networking


Fake smiles, sweaty palms, jittery tummy, awkward introductions, small talk, schmoooozing… does anyone ENJOY networking?

In our fast-paced, results-oriented, swim-or-sink world, the term “networking” often conjures images of superficial cocktail parties, exchanges of business cards (or nowadays- QR codes!), and transactional interactions aimed solely at climbing the corporate ladder, landing a new job, or making a sale.  No wonder so many of us have developed a strong aversion to networking!

Yet networking is an essential ingredient for building a successful, fulfilling, and impactful career and distinguishing ourselves as leaders.  So, how do we confront of our discomfort, reconnect with our values and desire for true connection, and rethink the way we approach networking?

Through my own career journey, I’ve come to appreciate the profound impact of AUTHENTIC networking, embracing it as a conduit for mutually beneficial connection and growth.  Authentic networking transcends stereotypical networking, offering a genuine path to meaningful connections and sustainable career development.


  1. Focus on Connection

Authentic networking begins with a commitment to fostering genuine connections rooted in authenticity and transparency. It’s about approaching networking not as a transactional exchange, but rather as an opportunity to cultivate meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and shared interests. In a world saturated with AI chatbots and fleeting human interactions, authentic networking, which is based on valuing human connection, lays the foundation for enduring mutually beneficial professional relationships.

  1. Know Thyself

Self-awareness serves as a cornerstone of authentic networking, empowering individuals to navigate networking opportunities with clarity and purpose.  By understanding our values, our strengths, and blind spots, we can authentically represent ourselves and forge connections that resonate with our authentic selves. Embracing vulnerability in networking allows us to share our stories, aspirations, and challenges, fostering deeper connections and mutual understanding simply by “keeping it real.”

Impostor Syndrome often looms as a formidable barrier to authentic networking, clouding our perception of self-worth and diminishing our confidence in professional settings. Yet, acknowledging and confronting Impostor Syndrome head-on with the support of trusted colleagues, mentors, and/or a trained coach can pave the way for authentic connections to flourish. By recognizing that feelings of inadequacy are universal and reframing them as opportunities for growth and connection, we reclaim our narrative and approach networking with newfound resilience and authenticity.

  1. Strategize & Plan

Crafting a strategic networking strategy and plan empowers individuals to navigate the vast landscape of professional connections with intentionality and purpose. Whether attending industry events, joining professional associations, or leveraging online platforms, a well-defined networking strategy and plan provides a roadmap for cultivating meaningful relationships while also advancing career goals and elevating our leadership. By setting clear objectives, identifying key stakeholders, and nurturing relationships over time, we can harness the power of authentic networking to propel our careers forward.

In closing….

Throughout my global career as a management consultant, HR professional, founder of a professional women’s network, and leadership coach, I’ve experienced firsthand the transformative impact of authentic networking.  By cultivating self-awareness, embracing vulnerability, and being more intentional, I’ve forged genuine connections that have enriched my professional journey and opened doors to countless opportunities. Almost every job, contract, and client I’ve landed is a direct result of the connections I’ve made.

Similarly, I always support my clients, friends, and colleagues in achieving their professional goals by freely sharing my connections, resources, and support.  Because of these collective benefits, I’m an enthusiastic proponent of authentic networking, recognizing its profound capacity to elevate both individuals and communities.  Like everything else- we are stronger together!

In essence, authentic networking is not merely a means to an end, but rather a journey of self-discovery, connection, and growth. By fostering genuine connections, embracing vulnerability, and crafting a strategic networking plan, we unlock the transformative potential of networking as a catalyst for meaningful, mutually beneficial career advancement. As we embark on this journey together, let us embrace authenticity as our compass, guiding us towards a future defined by genuine connections, purposeful collaboration, and limitless possibilities.

Would your organization like to encourage and embrace AUTHENTIC networking for career advancement?  Contact me for more details about my Authentic Networking workshop, which will not only help your employees improve their networking, but also their self-awareness and confidence!

Are you an individual who would like to network with greater authenticity and effectiveness? Reach out to book a FREE 30-minute strategy session and, after our session, I will send you a bonus networking strategy & plan template to help you get started!