EPISODE 143 | DECEMBER 27, 2023

Cultivating Connections: Networking and the Return to Work with Diane Darling

Networking isn't just about exchanging business cards or adding contacts on LinkedIn; it's an art form with the power to transform careers and shape futures. This profound message resonates throughout the latest episode of HerCsuite®  Radio, where host Natalie Benamou sits down with the working strategist, author and speaker, Diane Darling, to discuss the nuances of forging powerful connections that can resurrect and redefine one's professional trajectory.

5 Tips to Foster a Culture of Connections

  1. Have a Role: Diane suggests taking on a role at the networking event to avoid feeling like an “unemployed networker.” Whether it's introducing the speaker, picking them up from the airport, or handling name tags, having a role gives you a purpose and a reason to engage with others.
  2. Pre-Send Yourself: Before attending the event, reach out to speakers or leaders of the organization on LinkedIn to introduce yourself. This “pre-send” approach allows you to make connections before you even step into the room.
  3. Prepare Conversation Starters: Diane recommends having two or three starter conversations ready to initiate interactions. These could be simple questions like “Tell me how you know the company,” or “Tell me your role here.” Having these questions at the ready can ease the initiation of dialogue.
  4. Approach Individuals: Look for individuals who are by themselves at the event. Diane refers to this as her “silver bullet” for networking, as it often means the person is approachable and will welcome conversation, helping both of you feel more comfortable.
  5. Networking-Friendly Set-Up: If you're organizing the event, or even if you're just attending, pay attention to how the environment is set up to facilitate interactions.

When organizations help their employees feel comfortable they will increase retention and a desire to be in the office.

Our Favorite Quotes:

“Networking isn't about collecting contacts; it's about planting relations.”
– Diane Darling

“Every person you meet has the potential to open a door to a new opportunity. That's the power of networking.”
– Diane Darling

“Cultivating genuine relationships in the workplace isn't just good networking, it's good business.”
-Diane Darling

Thank you Diane, for being a valued member of HerCsuite® Innovation Women Network Hub and for sharing your wisdom today. Shoutout to alliance partner Bobbie Carlton, Founder, Innovation Women.

About Diane Darling

Diane Darling is a keynote speaker and author of The Networking Survival Guide and Networking for Career Success (both published by McGraw Hill in 9 languages). She speaks about networking, intergenerational workforce, and dealing with difficult people and has spoken globally on 1000s of stages including MIT Charm School (yes, that is a thing).

Published by McGraw-Hill, Featured in WSJ, Washington Post, Boston Globe, SF Chronicle

Spoke at Harvard, Yale, Univ of TX, Center for Women in Law, Fidelity, Cisco, and many other companies

This podcast is sponsored by HerCsuite® Leadership Programs where we have expert speakers at our mastermind programs and turnkey speaker programs.


Natalie Benamou

Welcome! I'm Your Host,
Natalie Benamou, Founder, HerCsuite™ Women's Growth Network.

Every week I bring you inspirational interviews and stories to help you get clarity about your future, step into your power so you can bold your brave.

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