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Volume 23 No. 17
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Game Changers: Networking

Game Changers honorees filled in this sentence: Networking works best when I …


Naz Aletaha: Am not expecting an immediate gain from making the connection. Real networking is about actively listening and establishing a genuine relationship, not facilitating a transaction.


Megan Hughes Allison: Ask questions and learn what I can from the people I am meeting. Moving past the small talk is when networking is at its best!

Michelle Andres: Meet people who can relate to the experiences I have had as a woman working in professional sports yet offer unique insight into navigating that world and vice versa.

Molly Arbogast: Focus on thinking about how I can help the people I am networking with. Karma is real.

Christine Burke: Make the time to do it; sometimes it is hard to walk away from a scheduled meeting or a full inbox.

Shelly Cayette: Am personal and open with individuals I’m talking to and equally as interested in their interests.

Kim Damron: Have no agenda and I am just focused on people and relationships.

Kim Davis: Am in an authentic relationship with the person.

Jill Driban: Have a drink in my hand.

Wendy Fallen: Collaborate with colleagues and consider perspectives from others facing similar challenges.

Melissa Heiter: Listen with interest. Talking comes very naturally to me, so it’s an effort to really listen.

Krista Hiner: Focus on authentic interactions with people and prioritize relationships over transactions.

Terri Carmichael Jackson: Spend the time getting to know someone.

Michele Kajiwara: Have a (good) glass of wine in hand and some mutual connections in the room so we can share and expand our tribe.

Meredith Kinsman: Make connections for others.

Thayer Lavielle: Focus on the other person. This is a relationship business and people like to do business with people they like.

Melanie LeGrande: It’s authentic and intentional.

Michelle McGoldrick: Approach it as an opportunity to make new friends. I’ve just found that a real investment in relationships produces better results.

Lucinda McRoberts: Focus on what I can give rather than receive. I hated networking at the start of my career because it felt so one-sided. Now that I better understand what I have to offer, developing relationships is far more organic.

Jamie Morningstar: Don’t force it. I let it happen naturally and remember to listen.

Sianneh Mulbah: Make it a priority and go in with a plan of action.

Pamela Murrin: Establish a connection with other individuals – quid pro quo.

Laura Neal: Don’t have to do it (I know that sounds awful, but I am painfully shy by nature). But seriously, it works best when it’s authentic. The less (overtly) agenda-driven our interaction can be, the better.

Gloria Nevarez: Feel welcome.

Moira O’Connor: Can take myself out of my comfort zone.

Nicolina O’Rorke: Get my head out of the day-to-day grind and appreciate getting to spark a conversation with someone that could create an impactful connection.

Djenaba Parker: Have time to do it! It’s on my list of things to get better at prioritizing.

Ana Shapiro Queenan: Can find a personal and authentic way to connect with others, and a way to make them smile and laugh.

Caroline Rebello: The goal is not to network, but to meet new people and learn about who they are.

Tracie Rodburg: When I am invested in it.

Carla Rosenberg: Make an effort to get to know people. 

Tara Gutkowski Schwartz: Am at a sporting event. It’s the environment I am most comfortable in, and gives you an immediate conversation starter and shared connection with the people you’re with.

Carrie Skillman: I’m authentic and true to myself.

Maureen Smith: Listen.

Amy Sprangers: Am authentic and natural.

Neda Tabatabaie: Am/it is authentic.

Tina Thornton: Form pure bonds with people, usually starting on a personal level that eventually leads to business conversations.

Alisha Valavanis: Meet someone organically and connect on matters that have my attention right now.

Whitney Wagoner: Am authentic and natural.