I brought Greg Peters, The Reluctant Networker, in to speak to the June 2013 meeting of the Southeastern Michigan chapter of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). As the President of our Chapter, I recognized that our members, while highly skilled in their areas of expertise, definitely were not comfortable making simple conversation and connections with those around them. While most of us don’t need to seek out clients, the lack of these networking skills definitely made our lives more difficult than they had to be and may even have been limiting our career advancement.
Greg’s presentation, “The Fundamentals of Networking”, addressed many concerns that we all face whenever we consider attending a networking event. His clear, step-by-step instructions for starting conversations with strangers and the techniques for gracefully exiting them appealed to everyone I spoke with. I also found his “INFER” tool — a guideline for productive follow up meetings — to be particularly useful. I’m amazed by how much information I found out from my partner during the interactive portions of the program.
I feel truly fortunate that we were able to learn from Greg’s experience. My members — many of whom rarely attend — raved about how much they received from this meeting. Personally, after working with Greg, I’m actually excited to attend networking events! I expect what we learned in that meeting and in the materials he has since shared with us will make our Chapter a stronger and more successful organization.