“Andy's 'The Networking Mindset' networking event was fascinating. I've been to loads of networking events over the years which are always full of people who don't quite know why they're there.... myself included. ”
Nicholas Harkin, Head of Risk & Governance at Close Brothers Retail Finance
“Andy has a can do and flexible attitude and is happy to develop and shape the content in line with the clients changing needs. Feedback from participants on Andy's workshops has been consistently very positive. ”
Una Murphy, Manager BBC Careerlink
“Several people were surprised to find out that Andy didn’t work in our sector as he related his knowledge so well and confidently, which was key to getting the audience to buy into his advice. ”
Suzanne Rowse, Director, British Boarding Schools Workshop
“I have already received three emails and two telephone calls from attendees who have expressly advised that as a direct result of the presentation they will without doubt be changing the way in which they network. A huge success. ”
Michael Strawbridge, Head of Member Services, Learning and Performance Institute
“There is a handful of people who I would consider really an expert in networking, and Andy is one of the few people on that list. ”
Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and CEO, BNI
“Andy is really engaging and left the audience wanting more which is a rarity when you work in Finance! He is extremely professional and personable and it felt like Andy really knew the topics and had researched the audience. ”
Nicola Hradek, Co-Chair HSBC Balance Employee Network
“In the pre-event correspondence, you were the most professional speaker we’ve ever had. By asking great questions as you did, it helped to make us more professional event organisers. ”
Jackie Barrie, Co-President, Professional Speaking Association South East England
“At each stage of the event from planning to delivery to follow up, Andy’s approach was extremely impressive. He spent time at the outset understanding us, the way we work and our key objectives and this continued with discussions with us in the run up to the event to shape the session to our needs. ”
Andrew Kelly, Director Human Capital Services, BDO llp
“Not only my individual life has had a total makeover after I met Andy, as a result of my personal improvement, the networks that I lead are now making a much bigger impact in the society. I can never thank Andy enough and would highly recommend him any time without hesitation. ”
Ruth Lau, Central Marketing, HSBC Private Bank
“I found the session with Andy really interesting and helpful. It offered a different perspective to development sessions I have been to before and it made me really think about how I was positioning myself at work and what I needed to be doing differently. ”
Tori Henderson, Senior Public Policy Manager HSBC
“The process to gaining the right referrals does not happen overnight, but executing Andy’s strategy into your daily business routine will lead to referral success. ”
Tom Price LLB DipPFS Hodgson Wealth Management
“Wherever I go, Andy is held in very high regard and I can personally endorse him as someone who is easy to do business with, professional and also great to work with. ”
Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director, Brother UK
“Andy has successfully elevated networking into more of a strategic arena ...................rather than it just being a "skills" thing. ”
Phil Jesson, Director of Speaker Development Academy for Chief Executives
“It was the best talk I’ve ever been to. Loved the content, pacing, delivery, structure. Your message was very memorable (imparting that much information can leave listeners forgetting what was said) and you managed the balance between substance, detail and memorability well. ”
Rebecca Aguilar, BBC Worldwide
“I would not be exaggerating in saying that last night was the most well received and successful event YEN London has had in over two years. ”
Jairo Jaramillo - Chairman, London Young Engineers Network
“Andy is an energetic presenter who quickly captured our audience's attention. The content of his presentation was excellent and fostered lively commentary and questions. We will definitely have Andy back for another session and are looking for other ways to partner with him. ”
Jennifer Rademaker, Head of Strategy Development Europe, MasterCard
“In the three months since Andy delivered his sessions, I've noticed a clear change in the approach taken by everyone who participated. We have already received a number of referrals as a result. ”
Andy O'Sullivan, Head of Sales - Hospitality, Wembley Stadium
“The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive and we will continue to run the training in other offices in EMEA. ”
Astrid Huijssoon, Senior Marketing Manager Cross Border Trade - PayPal CEMEA
“Andy Lopata is a true role model for any aspiring professional speaker in my view ”
Heather Townsend, author of The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking
“Andy worked with my business partner and me for a number of months as a referral and networking coach. Our business has demonstrably grown due to the new techniques and skills learned through working with Andy. ”
Dan Hall, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
“Andy certainly made a difference on how I normally approach / perceive events such as this. ”
Ann Azzopardi, Category Buying Manager, Pret a Manger
“There are many motivational speakers on the circuit who leave behind them just a short lived glow and then there are the subject matter pragmatic, passionate presenters who can potentially change the long term way their audience thinks or operates. I’d put Andy Lopata in the latter category. ”
Trevor Salomon – Director, Corporate Marketing, IFS
“I would recommend Andy to come and spend time with any team that wants to maximize the time of its busy people out in the market ”
Tomas Freyman, Partner, Valuations. BDO llp
“'Networking' as a topic can often seem forced... about tools and techniques to 'work a room' or 'get noticed' - Andy's take on it in this talk was so far removed from the glib truisms we've all heard before. ”
Bryony Thomas, Watertight Marketing
“"I was captivated by Andy's insightful and thought-provoking workshop. You could feel the energy in the room at the end. Several people commented that the event had changed their lives!" ”
Miranda Abraham, Chair, Women in Banking and Finance
“Andy’s style suited our company values perfectly as it is very much based around letting people learn at their own pace and be part of the sessions instead of just being presented to. There was a mixture of experience, job roles, nationalities and seniority in the room and Andy ensured that everyone felt this training was directed at them, such is his way with words. ”
Robert Kenward, Global Development Director, Banks Sadler
“It is great to work with a speaker like Andy who really wants to understand the audience he speaks to and tailors his content to them. ”
Galina Lebedeva, Education & Events Senior Co-ordinator, Wella UK & Ireland
“The feedback we received from members was overwhelmingly positive, making it one of the best sessions we had all year. ”
Aileen Parsons, Relationship Manager - Strategic Client Services, Paypal
“As a direct result of Andy’s workshop, we are now implementing a “networking strategy” that is aligned to supporting our key business goal. Andy’s advice/insights have made me re-think all my customer interactions and even in the short term I am getting results. ”
Adam Newman, Health Outcomes Consultant, GSK
“Andy, thanks again for making our Balance HK event a huge success. The audience gave you their undivided attention and you could hear a pin drop when you were speaking. I have never witnessed that before, with a room of 170+ people! ”
Maggie Suttie, Chair Balance Network, HSBC Hong Kong
“Andy's enthusiastic and interactive presentation at our National conference was very much appreciated by all and his series of workshops for my leadership team has been put to significant positive use. ”
Shona MacDonald, Business Director UK & Ireland, Wound Care. Molnlycke Health Care

Why the Harvey Weinstein scandal is a symptom of a more fundamental problem

The stories coming out of Hollywood and elsewhere of Harvey Weinstein's admitted and alleged behaviour are horrific as are the subsequent wave of posts on social media on the #MeToo thread. For me, while the stories we have read and heard this week are way beyond what we had hoped was the norm, they share a common foundation. 

We don't have enough respect for other people. 

I am old enough and world-wise enough not to be shocked when a number of women in my network have shared their experiences of being harassed, abused or worse because of their gender over the years. But the sheer scale of #MeToo posts just from my own network was quite remarkable as well as very saddening. 

I have never understood how people can treat others like objects for their own use. Whether it's because of gender, race, seniority (whether based on age, experience or positon) or any other reason, not considering someone else's feelings is disrespectful. 

At a networking dinner last night talk on our table turned, inevitably, to the Weinstein scandal and #MeToo threads. Initially a couple of the people dismissed the follow up allegations as the action of attention-seekers, until I explained that these were everyday women (and, in some cases, men) sharing their stories with no clear benefit to them to do so other than the knowledge that they are not alone and the hope that their story will help others. 

Suddenly, one of the women in our group started to list all of the different ways in which she has been discriminated against, harassed and abused throughout her career. Right the way through to last week when someone put his hand on her backside at a networking event...and she turned around to him in front of the whole room and told him "not to be Harvey Weinstein"! 

These stories are at the very high end of the lack of respect scale, in fact you can't get much more disrespectful. Please don't think that I am reducing what Harvey Weinstein and others have done to something as simple as just a lack of respect, they go much lower than that. I also want to stress that I don't want to take the #MeToo campaign and generalise it, deflecting attention from a very important campaign about what is happening mainly to women and why we should be aware of it and speak out. 

But if we all respected each other more would such instances happen as frequently? 

Think of all of the interactions you have had with different people over the last week. How many times have you disrespected someone without even being aware of it? Maybe you have been so involved in conversation that you have taken a waiter for granted when they have brought your food or the bill and not acknowledged or thanked them. Perhaps you voiced your opinion on social media in a way that denigrated the person whose views you disagreed with. Have you been to a networking event and interrupted a conversation when someone was mid-flow or passed up a conversation with someone because you felt they weren't relevant to you? Or just glanced at your phone while someone was talking to you? 

All of these seemingly harmless gestures and actions betray a lack of basic respect. Some are so small that they are barely noticeable and others don't get offended or hurt by them. Let's be honest, we're all guilty of one or more of the actions above at some point.

Is it possible that they mount up and provide the base for more egregious actions? If a waiter is not considered worthy of your courtesy, where do you draw the line and how do you stop it? 

It's easy to lose sight of how we make people feel. I received a message on LinkedIn this week from a young lady who was working backstage at a recent event at which I spoke in Stockholm. . 

She is a student at a sales academy for 18-24 year olds in Stockholm run by my good friend Mikael Arndt. The students at the academy crewed the event at which I spoke at Oscar's Theatre and the following day I went in to meet with them and answer their questions. They are an incredibly bright, driven and enthusiastic group and a pleasure to engage with. 

After connecting with me on LinkedIn after the session, this young lady said this to me: 

"Your answers made me realise the being oneself is always best but, more importantly, it's about how you make the other person feel. Backstage I spoke with a lot of speakers. You were one of the few who stood out and reflecting back, I think it's because you took a genuine interest in me and my questions. That's something I'll bring with me."

I completely understand why some speakers didn't really pay much attention to her. Speaking in front of 1,000 people at a city landmark is very nerve wracking, even for an experienced speaker. Before I went on to speak I was going through my opening in my mind several times, just to make sure I would be straight into flow. Many of the students interrupted me to say something and I always acknowledged them but that was very disruptive to my focus. 

They, however, weren't aware of that and it was so important that I still treated them with respect. She went on to say,

"Even though I have a hard time connecting with people because I don't like the idea of being vulnerable, I guess I can always affect how people feel about meeting me, being seen and heard. And to be genuinely curious."

These are small steps and skills that I teach as a matter of course when talking about networking. Listen to people; let them feel that they are the only person in the room; show genuine curiosity; don't invade their personal space.  

They are much more than networking techniques though. They are a simple matter of respect and if we can naturally respect each other irrespective of our differences, maybe the stories we see, hear about and share will be far more positive. 

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