Part I of Harlem World’s Q & A with Juliette C. Mayers

How do you define networking?  Networking at its core is about relationship building.  As a best practice, you want to establish and nurture professional relationships on an on-going basis by being supportive of others and finding ways to add value both within your work environment and in the broader community.  Think of it as sowing good seeds into the “networking garden.”  You want to establish a strong brand as a “giver,” and as someone who does great work.  There will come a time when you will need help with your career or business agenda.  You want to have solid relationships in tact that you can draw upon to advance your career and grow your business!  The time to build those relationships is long before you need them.

What inspired you to write the book?  Almost nine years ago at the age of 57, my mom lost her battle with breast cancer. She was a Godly vibrant woman who was the personification of a consummate networker; yet, did not have a formal education.  I reflect often upon her life and in 2008 did so more deeply when I got quite a bit of media attention, as reporters sought out stories for people who had “fulfilled the American-Dream.”  At the time, I had recently received an honor as a visionary woman of excellence from UnityFirst Magazine.  That coupled with the newspaper articles, prompted people who were inspired by my story to email and call me.  It was then, that I decided to write the book.

Is there a difference between how men and women network?  My observation is yes; there is a difference.  In conducting research for my book, I posed this question to those in my “networking master class” in diverse industries and they too agreed.  In general, men tend to use everyday social interactions, particularly sporting events and meals not only for entertainment purposes, but to conduct business.  Notably, men are much more likely to make “the ask” for what they want – whether it’s help with a deal that they are working on or an introduction to a friend who may be helpful in advancing an initiative.  They tend to be more comfortable making “the ask.”  Women are more reluctant to do so.

Part II of Danny Tinsdale’s interview will be posted later this week.  Join Juliette Mayers for the New York Launch of “A Black Woman’s” Guide to Networking at Hue-Man Bookstore.  Go to www.juliettemayers.com/speaking and scroll to March 24th for details. For advanced book purchases, go to www.juliettemayers.com/books or www.amazon.com

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