Is it possible to be taught to draw and paint or are they skills people develop in their mothers wombs? I thought it was the latter until I signed up for an art course. Indeed, three weeks in and Im already convinced my artwork will one day be good enough to exhibit!
I thought the same rule applied to networking surely people are born either as the heart and soul of the party or the wallflower? But I attended a seminar earlier this week hosted by networking coach Will Kintish and he convinced me otherwise.
Indeed, I learnt so much from the one-day course I wanted to rush back to my office and retrieve all those cocktail party invites I had binned so that I could put my newly acquired skills to practice.
According to Kintish, networking is about building and developing relationships and NOT about selling. An effective networker is positive, friendly, reliable, a good listener, and has a giving spirit they dont think about whats in it for them but whats in it for you. So when you walk into a law firm drinks party Kintish suggests you shine the torch on everyone else in the room not on yourself.
But effective networking also requires preparation this might include researching simple matters such as the format of an event and the dress code to learning more about the other guests who you would like to meet.
You might be wondering why on earth Im telling you all this? Well its simple, lawyers need to be good at networking. And with the milkround now in full swing its a good a time as any to brush up on your schmoozing techniques.
Talking of which, if youre planning to attend a law fair during the next month or so then make sure you check out this weeks feature (How to survive law fairs). Meanwhile, for a more light-hearted insight on law fairs have a read of our latest blog (Fun at the Fair) brought to us by CMS Cameron McKenna graduate recruitment officer Vicki Wisson. This is Vickis fourth milkround season so she definitely knows a thing or two about them.
Last but not least Ill be coming up to Leeds Uni with my colleague Corinne McPartland on Tuesday 21 October when well be doing a presentation on how to secure your dream job in law. So if you want independent and frank advice from someone who has been there and done it then why not come and join us.