CFOs were asked, "Which one of the following is the greatest networking mistake executives make?" Their responses*:
Not asking for help
Failing to connect with the right people
Failing to keep in touch or only reaching out when they need something
Not thanking contacts when they provide help
Not helping others
*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.
"It is never too late to learn, even for executives who have been at the helm for years," David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources. "As business evolves, so do the tools and skills needed to keep up with new demands. The insights gained through a robust professional network can provide valuable guidance in navigating these changes."
Added King, "To stay on top of business trends, innovations and opportunities, connect with a variety of professionals, like less tenured team members who may be more technologically proficient, and establish an open dialogue for sharing resources and expertise."
Robert Half Management Resources offers questions for executives to answer to gain more confidence when reaching out to their network:
- What do I want? Clearly define the support you need. Providing specifics enables contacts to determine how they can assist you and recommend additional resources.
- What can I offer? Identify ways to help your contacts, such as sharing job leads or industry research. You'll be more confident making a request if you assist others.
- What's next? Networking should be an ongoing process, but it doesn't always need to be formal. Sending a quick email or forwarding an article of interest keeps connections active. Asking for help is less awkward if you stay in touch.
Additional networking advice for executives is on the Robert Half blog.
About the Research
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.