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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word 'networking' only first appeared in the mid-1970s.
This surprises me.
We've been networking ever since we discovered our vocal cords and started trading stuff, haven't we?
From Romans in togas discussing the latest Senate laws to Tudors exchanging titbits over a glass of mead, people have thrived on chatting to one another, exchanging information and developing mutually fruitful relationships. In the long run, they knew that failure to engage would be to engage in failure.
But that was before the faxes, e-mails and the Internet came onto the scene.
So whilst office technology has become more sophisticated over the years and we've never been so connected, in many ways we have becoming increasingly disconnected from each other. Screen time is often favoured over face time, e-mails over using the phone.
As a result, off-line networking in particular has never been more needed.
So what makes for a good all-round networker and why is it important?
The Future of Law recently spoke with Kim Tasso, an independent consultant to professional service firms. In her post (check it out here) she discusses the different routes for networking with law firms and the skills necessary to be a good networker. She also offers some practical guidance and tips on how to use your on-line and off-line worlds to their best advantage.
It is well worth a read.
In the meantime, if you have any networking tips or 'hacks' do let us know below.
Interviewed by Diana Bentley. The views expressed by our Legal Analysis interviewees are not necessarily those of the proprietor.
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