Tino’s Corner: The Return of Networking

By Tino Mantella

TLG President & CEO Those who network know and those who don’t, may not.  I feel bad for the twenty somethings that have been assigned to connect with senior leaders.  The pandemic has cut them off from a tried and traditional way to meet decision makers. The same challenges actually apply to everyone who values personal interactions. As some of you know, I have been known to be out in the community up to four evenings a week.  It was a way for me to stay visible, contribute to the topics of the evening, connect with friends, and softly sell, when appropriate. To be fully cut off from that option for eight months has made me feel like I lost an old friend.  And I don’t even consider myself an extreme extravert.  If you fall into that category, I am sorry.  Hang in there.  Things are about to change in a big way. I am optimistic that the pendulum will swing back to near normal by mid-year. When it does, the pent-up demand for networking will not only equal what it was before COVID-19 but will hit steroid-mode.  More on that later. One door closes and another opens, as they say.  Learning different ways to network has been a must.  It reminds me of when our oldest went to college.  That’s when my wife and I stepped up to become relatively efficient on the use of our computer.  Then, when our son moved to Boston and we celebrated our grandchild , we stepped up our game by utilizing Facetime and Zoom.  As well, technological advancement has enabled employees to explore new ways to communicate. For example, the Turknett team has offered over forty free webinars, moved our Women in Leadership programs to virtual, and utilized Zoom and Mural to deliver training programs in the areas of leadership development and culture.  People working in the business development arena have felt the need to connect face to face, in the virtual world.  In addition to Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Go to Meeting, WebEx and RingCentral, are just a few of the tools we and others use to feel like you are together even when you are not.  I don’t know about you, but a straight-out phone call feels like something is missing. Nothing can replace time spent together with people you enjoy, in the same space.  When it rains most of us appreciate when the sun comes out once again.  And, when factors beyond one’s control keep us from being together most of us will appreciate when the flood gates open again.   Post-pandemic, we can expect a deluge of activities that will bring people together like we have never experienced before. Events delayed will come back in a big way in Q3 and Q4.  Event venues that have been struggling to stay afloat will get a serious shot in the arm.  Restaurants will also experience a monumental uptick as leaders, at all levels, will come together for meals and drinks.  I, for one, can’t wait until the world exhales and we are back to where we belong. Tino Tino Mantella President & CEO Turknett Leadership Group TMantella@turknett.com Cell: 678-984-8528