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What To Look For In A Networking Group

What To Look For In A Networking Group

By Christine Condon

This week, Geri Stengel sat down with Ellevate Network and 92Y to participate in their Women Who Lead web series. President of Ventureneer, a content marketing and research company that helps large companies reach small businesses through thought leadership, Stengel has some advice on building a network that will help you go far.

“Networking accelerates you wherever you want to go. Whether that's getting customers, whether that's getting financing, whether it’s a strategic alliance that you need, your network will get you there,” states Stengel.

When it comes to networking, it can be advantageous to join an association. As you consider the best organization to become involved in, Stengel has four things that she advises people to look at:

  1. Who’s in the group? Do they provide resources and support? Do they have knowledge that will further your own knowledge and influence your career?
  2. How do they communicate? What’s the frequency of the communication? The tone? Is it professional?
  3. Are there people there who will support you? “When times are tough, are there people within the group that can help you sort through the obstacles you are facing?” says Stengel.
  4. Are there movers and shakers in the group? “You want to be part of a group of women or men...that are at a higher level than you--so they can open the doors to the customers, money and potential strategic alliances.”

Confidence is also key in getting ahead. “Confidence is one of those critical issues in closing the gap," Stengel states. "For each woman I think that it’s going to be very different the way that they need to do it.... [Form] a posse of women that support you so that when self doubt comes into your mind, you have a group of women that you can rely on that will pump you up and cheer you on."


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