Visibility, Networking & Overcoming "The Ick" Factor

networking the ick visibility you are enough Apr 23, 2024

So yesterday I took part in a group coaching session on "Visibility", and it didn't go quite as expected...

I thought I'd leave with a truckload of ideas on how to be more out there and get myself seen. Instead, I realised just how far I've come and how much I want to help others overcome their fears in this area (because let's be real, they were fears - I'd never admit it at the time, but vulnerability? No thanks).

Throughout your career, you'll hear it on repeat: "Be more visible", "Network more", "Speak up in meetings!" But what if just the thought of all that gives you "The Ick"?

You know the feeling - sweaty palms, gut twisting in knots when someone suggests kicking off a meeting with round-robin intros. Or you're at a big event, a potential networking goldmine with the higher-ups, but you cling to your usual crowd thinking, "What could I possibly say that won't make me sound stupid?" Worse yet, you plant yourself by the coffee table because "The Ick" has moved in. "Who would actually want to talk to me, and about what? I'll just come across as awkward, so I'll stay right here..."

If those scenarios sound familiar, you're so not alone! Here's the thing: you can't peek into someone else's mind, so you'll never know who around that table or in that auditorium is feeling just as icky as you are. They all seem to have it figured out, right? Wrong!

The good news? Overcoming "the Ick" is totally doable with some mindset tune-ups and brilliant strategies. First, let's reframe this visibility/networking gig. It's not just a checklist of awkward obligations - it's a golden opportunity to flaunt your expertise, make valuable connections, and pave the way for your next big career adventure.

Imagine being the guru that colleagues and execs turn to for the real deal insights. Picture hitting it off with someone who could unlock the door to your dream role - one that's tailored for you and exactly where you want to be right now. Because let's be honest, growth only really happens when you push past those fears and step out of that comfort zone.

So, let's dive into some pro tips for putting yourself out there without triggering "the Ick," shall we?

Mindset Makeover:

  • Reframe your self-talk: Replace thoughts like "Who wants to talk to me?" with affirmations of confidence: "I am amazing and deserve to be here."
  • Visualise success: Imagine yourself confidently connecting and thriving in those once-dreaded situations. As Muhammad Ali famously said, "If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it."

Preparation is Power:

  • Research & Prep: For meetings, know the agenda and come prepared with talking points. For events, research attendees and rehearse your elevator pitch.
  • Practice Makes Progress: Run through your intro or key points beforehand. Feeling prepared is a game-changer for your confidence.

Networking Navigation:

  • Focus on Value: Instead of braggy self-promotion, approach conversations with the mindset of offering insights or helping others.
  • Start Small & Build: Don't cannonball into the deep end! Begin with smaller meetups or online connections before diving into massive shindigs.

Conversation Starters:

  • "What brings you here today?" (The classic icebreaker)
  • "I really admire your work on [X project]. Could you tell me more about it?" (Shows genuine interest)
  • "Have you encountered any interesting challenges in your role lately?" (Prompts idea exchange)
  • "I'm passionate about [X topic], are you involved in any related initiatives?" (Finds common ground)
  • And don't be afraid to go beyond work! Connect over hobbies, charitable work, family life - we're all human, and like attracts like when it comes to making true connections.

Celebrate Every Win:

  • Acknowledge your progress! Even if it was just introducing yourself to one new person, that's a massive win. Give yourself kudos for every small step forward.

The bottom line? You've got this. By incorporating these mindset reframes and tactics, you'll be banishing "The Ick" and shining as the confident, connected professional you truly are. The world is ready for your insights and brilliance - don't let those fears hold you back any more!

With Love & Faith In You,


Sam x


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