Networking Tips for the 21st CenturyNetworking Tips for the 21st Century
By Julia HubbelBy Julia Hubbel
Has business networking changed for the 21 st Century? Julia Hubbel believes it has. This
networking expert believes that changes in global business are driving changes at the ground level right to how we shake hands and acknowledge each other in our everyday work and social environments. "With so many more women and so much more diversity in the world's workplaces of today, we are all learning to be more attentive to differences," Hubbel explains. "It's not just gender and cultural, it's acknowledging our value to each other, and that's taking it another step. Networking used to be all about getting something from someone, using people to one's advantage. This century is all about the human network. It's about connections, and about connecting people for their benefit as well. What we do to help others succeed comes back around."
Hubbel has her own story to relate about helping others. In 1997, she went through a rough period personally and professional, during which she started a professional women's group in the American Pacific Northwest. Within three years, the group grew to sixty members, all senior level professional women doing business with each other and starting businesses among the members. Hubbel wrote about the women, promoted them in newspapers and local media, introduced them to new contacts and helped them succeed. The women also drew together within the network to help Hubbel get through her rough patch. "The Hubbel Group was a diverse group of women of color," Hubbel recalls. "Polynesian, Hispanic, Asian, Caucasian, American Indian, African American, it was quite a mix. Because of that they taught me how people of color networked differently from white males, and because of my own Fortune 50 background, I realized that big businesses needed to know about it."Hubbel expanded her speaking business to include courses on how women and people of color networked differently from white males, and adapted them for Fortune 500 companies. "Networking in general has changed for everybody," says Hubbel. "It's not just that diversity and the pace of business affect us all. It's that we are all much more sophisticated, and hard core selling tactics don't work any more. With so many of us developing relationships as an essential part of our business model, we have to earn the right to do business. You don't do that by forcing the connection. You do it by inviting people to want to know you and do business with you."