3 minutes reading time (559 words)

Podcast - Developing Networking skills - Where to start (validated self-assessment)


We do not need to look far to recognise that we live in challenging times. This is not the first time there have been challenges in human history. However, with advances in communication and the use of social media, our awareness of the extent of the challenges is greater. Looking into the challenges alone can feel overwhelming, and we may wonder if things are bad just now, are they going to get even worse, and if they do, how will we cope?

It is understandable when we feel threatened or have concerns for our family, community, or country that we look to protect our own; however, the challenges facing us today mean we need to find ways to work together, share, learn, be tolerant, find a middle ground which may not be perfect but works for ourselves, each other, and the planet and helps everyone suffer less. The recording in this piece introduces the idea of Network Weaving.

The idea behind network weaving is finding ways for us to work together towards a shared vision in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding, celebrating the diversity of opinion as it offers ideas we would not perhaps come up with if we only shared with those who share the same opinions as ourselves, the common aim, a kinder, fairer healthier, safer world for everyone. We see a rise in mental ill health. How much is it due to the uncertain times we live in, causing anxiety and despair?

 Podcast - Developing Networking skills

 These tips, as ever, are for well-being and do not replace professional advice. For improved mental well-being for everyone, we also need to consider some of the challenges which exist which lead to mental ill health in the first place. Homelessness, worry about money, feeling unsafe and insecure, worry about the future. We cannot solve these problems; working with others can achieve more. Our networks can help us be the change the world needs to see.

These networks can take many forms; what they share in common is a desire for positive change. After listening to the podcast, you may want to reflect on the networks you are a member of and areas you would like to develop. This piece has a self-assessment, which may help you get started. This link takes you to a suite of materials to support network effectiveness and our roles within networks. Working together, we can be the change the world needs to see.

However, working together is not always easy. Taking time to reflect on our networks and roles as network members can help us invest our energy where it is likely to have the most impact and find ways to conserve it when things don't go to plan. There are many challenges facing the world today.

Maximising the strengths of our networks and our skills as network members can help us face those challenges together and help us all suffer less. We can be the change; it does not need to be this way. We can work together to build a kinder, fairer world for all and the planet.

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