June 4, 2020

10Eighty

 

NETWORKING

The Organisation

The firm is an international law firm advising on complex transactions and disputes through local knowledge and an integrated international network. With a strong sector focus, combining technical excellence with deep industry knowledge across energy, transport and real estate. Their values rest on developing deep and long-lasting relationships externally and internally through respect, sharing, communication and integrity.

Background

As part of a trainee induction programme, 10Eighty were asked to design and deliver a short networking skills workshop to 18 new trainee solicitors. The induction programme included the trainees attending a professional skills course, as well as talks and seminars to help them settle into the firm.

The Brief

The HR department had received feedback from previous trainees that, although they were expected to network and business develop early on in their roles, this was something trainees did not feel they had the confidence or skills to do effectively. There appeared to be some reticence in initiating contact with individuals they did not know well and a tendency to hide behind social media and email, rather than connecting with individuals on a face to face basis.

Our Approach

The goals for the hour and a half session were therefore:

  • to learn techniques to build confidence when networking;
  • to think differently about networking;
  • and, to create an action plan to put those skills into practice.

The client was keen that the trainees should leave the workshop with some tangible actions they could put into place immediately to help them build their network, to think differently about networking and to ensure the learning took place in a fun and interactive environment.

In advance of the workshop, we asked the trainees to watch a short video on how to write an elevator pitch, then create their own and bring this with them to the workshop. They were given an opportunity to practice their elevator pitch and received feedback during the session.

The Outcomes

The workshop was very interactive, with plenty of opportunities to practice some of the skills of networking; the trainees were encouraged to reflect on what networking is and isn’t. All participants learned some key hints and tips and how to create a networking action plan.

The group were really engaged, thoughtful and asked some great questions throughout the workshop. They threw themselves into the exercises and all committed to tangible actions at the end of the workshop.

Feedback from the workshop was very positive; the majority of trainees identified opportunities to put their skills into practice within the next week, and were confident that they would approach networking situations differently. All felt their confidence levels had increased following the workshop.

The HR department followed up with each individual 4 weeks’ after the workshop to see how they had progressed with their actions and whether any further support was needed. This helped to keep the learning alive and encouraged the trainees to keep developing their networking skills.

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