Activity 5A

Assignment 5: WRITING UP

Activity 5A

Increasingly businesses are sending their employees on course to learn about networking. When networking is used correctly it can provide exposure of someone’s talents and ability. I will be using this topic to look further into to creating a research proposal using both primary and secondary methods. By gathering this information I aim to find out whether people find networking useful in business use.

Networking is quite a new way of communication and people are still getting used to the idea of using the internet as a way to be found or find work through connections through things like Blogs, Twitter, My Space, Bebo, Flicker and Facebook. I have looked at a text called ‘Networking Survival Guide (2003),’ by Diane Darling. Her book is about coaching people through networking. She use examples of how the networking benefits business and can create new opportunities, gain knowledge and new business links. The book also looks into how people are perceived and how that can leave an impression on the businesses. The writer says that it is essential to take control of your own lives and the directions it goes in. Networking allows you to take control of your life and the direction that it goes in. You can take control of your professional career and deciding how you want it to be taken forward for future development. This allows you to develop and shape your own personal reputation.

To conduct my own research I would want to work with Diane Darling at one of the workshops that she hosts for business. I would watch and observe as the workshop took place. Interacting with both the hosts and the participants gaining their knowledge about how successful networking is. If they had had a good experiences and success from the use of a network?

Working in this workshop environment where you are only maybe in contact with the subjects for a day or two will make it hard for them to become used to the situation and may still be uncomfortable answering questions straight away about the use of networking. But maybe if I was to go out to their work place in say 6 months to a year later and interview them at that point to find out how they felt about the course and whether it was successful.

Looking at the subjects networking pages to determining whether they have used the training successfully and can their pages be improved? Are they setting them self’s the right image? Are the pages saying the right things about themselves and their business?

I found that one on one interviews were a little bit to formal and would maybe provoke people to say things that they think I want to hear. So instead I think a less formal discussion group would produce the best results. This way people can get their views across about networking, and they can build on other people’s comments giving a greater amount of data to collect. Also group discussion makes it easier for people to get their points across as they can gain support from their friends and colleagues.

As I would have spent time with the discussion groups while they were on their workshop they should feel a little more relaxed around me. This should encourage them to be more open around me so they can let me know what they really think about networking and the workshop that has been held. Through out these discussions I will be taking notes on not just what they say but their body language also, as people’s body language is just as important as what they are saying.

While working and observing in these work shops I would want to work with the many different sectors that are trying to use networking so I can find out which sectors benefit the most from it? Which sectors drum up the most business from it, as just talking to one sector would one give me their opinions on whether it works or not. This would give me an unbiased view of the overall outcome of networking.

Observing the workshop will enable me to be able to pick up people’s body language and attitudes to this new communication. You will be able to pick up on who is enjoying it and who thinks it’s a waste of time. Then observing peoples networks after the workshop has been completed, will the body language that was portrayed in the workshop reflect on how they treat their network? At the end of every workshop I would issue a standard questionnaire to every group that took place-asking question like ‘Do you feel that networking will be successful in your discipline of work?’ these questions would help gauge peoples reaction.

My conclusions are that the questions I have raised within this proposal show that secondary research would be more appropriate as there is not much primary research out there, mainly because this is a new way of creating business opportunities. To aid my research I would want to gain a first hand knowledge of how the people being taught to become net workers thought about the process. I would also want to gain information from all the disciplines, then through the use of interviews and surveys I would want to build up enough data to create a report that would give information on what disciplines networking is used for and how it can be used successfully.

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