The power of connection

by Sharon Sanders 

The other day Sharon and I were chatting through the benefits of being part of the Community and how in a time where it is very easy to feel isolated, connection to others is key. Has Covid changed the way you work? How have you managed to stay connected?

Here Sharon Sanders discusses her experiences and learnings.

”Building relationships has always been important to me as it is through connecting with others that we can achieve results. When at work I actively walk the building, going into different departments to learn about their work and challenges, how they are part of the work I am leading and the goals they have. This provides an opportunity for me to introduce myself and gain contacts within a different business area. Building a collaborative environment that enables delivery.

Then along comes Covid the major disrupter of recent times. The pandemic has created challenges for us in many areas of our lives, especially our job roles and work environments.  My search for a new contract became more challenging as the country went into lockdown and opportunities were reduced and applicant numbers were higher.  I needed to create an environment that replicated the workplace and provided me with structure and meaning to my day.

I am a “can do” person and took on the challenge I had set myself with gusto. How could I develop whilst adding value to others? I continued to engage with my existing network and joined other professional groups.  Then along came Sqwyz

I was drawn to the Sqwyz network at its inception as it offered the opportunity to meet other Transformation Professionals, and more importantly, become a Mentor. The ease of engagement within the network was positive and energising and I was matched with a mentee very quickly. My first goal was achieved

Sqwyz membership has increased and the network has developed into a dynamic network with a wide range of Transformation Professionals from across multiple industries. Online group events give us all a voice as we discuss Transformation topics. These were scheduled into my diary and supported me to create a work like environment with meetings

As the weekly sessions continued I started to see more people attend the sessions. I then set my next challenge: to schedule 1:1 zoom calls with people within the network so we could learn more about each other, share knowledge; identify how we can support each other. This approach would also enable me to get the interaction I would normally have in the office.  This was the best thing I could have done and so far I have had 1:1 conversations with 28 people in the network!

I want to share with you how I have benefitted  from this activity:

  • Fun – getting to know people is great. I have made some new friends who I would never have met without the network and taking the step to reach out
  • Involvement in activities that provided a structure to my days and enabled me to add value and have a sense of purpose
  • Learned about different roles and industries that I have never worked in and the challenges and opportunities they present
  • Fed my need for connection and building relationships. This is something that is core to my personality and way of working. I love to network
  • Shared my knowledge to develop others. I have been approached by people I have connected with to support them with a range of things including networking; interviews; sales techniques; presentation skills; leadership.
  • Contribute to the development of the Sqwyz community

Networking is a word that instils fear in some people. It is only another word for making connections. Whilst I understand that not everyone is comfortable with sending a message to another person within the network. I encourage you to take that leap of faith and reach out. I am open to more 1:1 conversations so you can always start with me.” – Sharon.

Connect with Sharon on LinkedIn

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