“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 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
“"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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 certainly made a difference on how I normally approach / perceive events such as this. ”
Ann Azzopardi, Category Buying Manager, Pret a Manger
“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
“'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
“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
“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
“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
“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

Why Deep Connections Make it Easier to Ask for Help

"When we really see each other, we want to help each other." Amanda Palmer

Asking for help can be one of the biggest challenges for individuals. Whether building a business, looking for the solution to a problem or chasing a new position to drive our career forward, many of us struggle when it comes to turning to others for support. 

We feel as though we are going to become a burden by asking for help, or worry that we'll be highlighting a vulnerability that we'd rather keep in the dark. 

Yet people enjoy helping others, particularly those who they like and trust. When a relationship is strong people are more likely to take pleasure from being able to support the other, rather than judge them for asking. Despite this knowledge, society seems to look down on the act of asking and make people feel uncomfortable about doing so. 

Which makes the following video, kindly sent to me by Jackie Barrie, quite fascinating. From busking for loose change as a 'Living Statue' on the street, through tweeting requests to sleep on the couches of strangers to raising over  $1m dollars in a crowdfunding campaign, Amanda Palmer has proven to be very successful at asking for help.

In this TED Talk, Amanda shares her experiences and why she feels that the people around her are so happy to contribute: 

One thing jumps out for me above anything else in this talk. And that is the connection Amanda makes with her network, whether it is the eye contact she made as a living statue with people on the street or the trust she puts in her audience by offering her body as their canvas. 

"My eyes would say, 'Thank you, I see you'.

And their eyes would say, 'Nobody ever sees me. Thank you.'"

Amanda shares with us the bafflement experienced by people trying to understand how she could raise a record sum through her crowdfunding efforts for her band, at a time when people have stopped paying for music. 

The answer, as shared here, is in the connection...and in the disconnect. 

Her record company are disconnected. They have no connection with Amanda, with her band or with her audience. And her audience respond by not caring about the record company. They are happy to pay for Amanda's music, but they pay her direct rather than through the traditional purchase of an album. 

Amanda and her band are, however, completely connected to their audience. They engage with them on social media. They sleep on their sofas and on their floors. They stay behind after concerts and talk to them. And then, when they ask for help, their audience is only too happy to respond, giving far more than even asked for. 

"Through the very act of asking people I connected with them. And when you connect with them, people want to help you."

I think Amanda underplays one key element in this statement - the relationships she has built with her fan base over time. She has displayed honesty and openness in her relationship with them from the beginning. Sharing more than just news of their latest tour dates or video on Twitter and blogs but their "fears, hangovers, mistakes". She has build a level of trust in them that allows her to believe they won't drop her to the floor when she crowdsurfs and to literally expose herself to them as a blank canvas in Berlin.

She doesn't just ask people who are strangers, she asks the people she trusts, the people she has shared with, the people she has let into her life. 

Are you really connecting with the people in your life? I don't mean exchanging 'clicks' to add each other to your respective networks on LinkedIn or Facebook, but creating meaningful interactions. Are you sharing your life, your fears and your hangovers? Or are you drawing a strict line between your business and social lives? 

Who do you feel most comfortable asking for help? And who would you most happily lend your support to? When I consider those questions I know that I would be far more likely to want to support people I consider as friends, rather than business acquaintances. 

I hear a lot of people denigrate the modern culture of soul bearing and life sharing ushered in by social media. But if you go to the other extreme and hide behind a wall of secrecy, are you missing out? By keeping a purely 'professional' veneer in front of your network are you creating a disconnect, and a lower likelihood of people being willing to help you? 

"When we really see each other, we want to help each other." Stop hiding and start asking for help. 

Comments

Amanda Palmer is amazing.

Amanda Palmer is amazing. She's recently posted a new video 'Dear Daily Mail' (Warning: rude language / nudity)

Thanks for sharing Jackie,

Thanks for sharing Jackie, I'll be watching that....when I'm sure there are no faint hearts around to corrupt!

Wow. This is so powerful and

Wow. This is so powerful and is totally connected with something I've been thinking about regarding networking. Thanks for posting it Andy.

My pleasure, I'm pleased it's

My pleasure, I'm pleased it's made an impact Michael. Care to share what you've been thinking about?

My pleasure, I'm pleased it's

My pleasure, I'm pleased it's made an impact Michael. Care to share what you've been thinking about?

Jackie - that ditty from Ms

Jackie - that ditty from Ms Palmer is wonderful! Thanks again for sharing.

Thanks Andy: absolutely love

Thanks Andy: absolutely love this blog and the video is an amazing example of what Can be achieved.

Thank you Richard

Thank you Richard

What I learnt mainly from

What I learnt mainly from this site is that when a relationship is indeed strong people are more likely to take pleasure from being able to support the other. But then as a whole this is just a fact. It depends on different people.

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