« Inspirational Stories | Main | Readers' Theater: any thoughts? ever heard of one? »


Hello Bill. I think networking is a wonderful way to meet people, reconnect with old buddies, and perhaps learn new things. This includes learning new skills, such as cooking. Networking is how those of us needing help with certain tasks go about seeking that help.

Hi Jake,

Thanks for sharing your great ideas with all!

I completely agree networking is a great way to speed up the learning of new skills. This is how I learned to use my assistive technology after going blind. I joined about eight email lists covering a wide variety of access technology topics. I read through most messages daily for some time so I could come up to speed as quickly as possible. I joined a couple for recreation and interest as well. One of these mailing lists I joined is called Blind Cook. If you or others have not heard of that group and want to join send email to: [email protected]. I actually do not do much cooking myself yet, my loving wife does not let me in the kitchen to experiment much, but I love to eat for sure! Some day when I get more time would like to take up cooking. Have not cooked anything on the stove or in oven since going blind, so I had better start networking with people to learn how to go about cooking safely.

Thanks for sharing. Does anyone else have any best ways to grow your network? Ways to keep your network once you have it? How to reciprocate sharing between partners in your network? Remember good networking is a two way street.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Bill Tipton
Contributing Author,
Global Dialogue Center

Hi all,

Thought you would like to read some comments and suggestions I have helped with to spark communication we can all learn from. Topic is called “Networking Forum: Best Ways to Reciprocate for Help From Others”

How do you keep your workplace network vibrant once you have established a good range of contacts?

In other words, how do you reciprocate for the help given to you?

Maintaining a network, which is essentially a two-way street of give and take, is not easy. I find myself asking these questions:

• Have I been a valuable partner in the network of the person who has helped me?

• Am I there when he or she needs me, or do I find yourself too busy to give help in return?

• Do I offer help when I see people in my network can use my help, even if they do not know that I have noticed their need? Or do I tend to my own business and look the other way?

I also struggle with these other questions as I try to bridge the fine line between being there for a person in my network or pestering a valued resource:

• How often should I “check in” with my network?

• What is the best way to “check in” -- by e-mail, phone call or personal visit, if possible?

• What is the best way to show my appreciation for my network?

• How do I decide what information to share?

I do not want to overburden the people in my network so they can feel free to help me when I really need it. I want to respect the time of my network partners. If I ask them questions all the time or send them information they may (or may not) need, they might tend not to notice when I’m really in desperate need of their help.

Here are a few ways I use for reciprocating for the help individuals within my valuable network have given to me:

• If I get an e-mail or voice mail from a person in my network, asking anything, I respond quicker than I might for another message with same level of criticality. This network partner probably does not want to overburden me in the same way I do not want to overburden him or her. We are all very busy. If people are asking for my help, they usually really need it.

• In my day-to-day activities, if I run across information that will help a person or two in my network, I will share it with them. This does not mean telling them confidential information I’m not allowed to share. Example: I meet a person who has great expertise on a project one of my valued network partners is working on. I might offer to introduce the individuals to each other, if they agree.

• If a person in my network tells me something in confidence, I never go against that wish -- unless, of course, a law is broken or another person is in harm’s way.

• I try to remember facts about people in my network. I value these people in my professional and, at times, my personal life. I consider it a matter of courtesy to remember facts about individuals, if they choose to share them with me. It shows I care about them.

Remember a good and loyal network can take us far. But a strong network takes time to build. It also takes time to grow trust between partners. We do not want to forget their needs. If we do, we could loose our networking resources.

What tips do you have about reciprocating for the valuable help others in your network have given to you?

Read communication and share ideas about this topic at http://www.tabinc.org/net/archives/2006/05/best_ways_to_re.html#more
Does anyone have ideas of how to best reciprocate help given to you?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Bill Tipton
Contributing Author,
Global Dialogue Center

The comments to this entry are closed.