As long as I have been associated with networking, I've heard people talking about learning. Since the late 70s, I have preached the importance of continuous learning to my corporate clients (and anyone else within three feet). If I'm not learning, I'm losing!

As a professional networker, you know your success depends on learning. You have developed a consciousness around learning that is so ingrained it's become automatic. How can you instill this consciousness faster and more effectively in the succeeding tiers of professionals you are grooming in your network? How can you support these aspiring networkers to gain the levels of success that will enable them to follow their hearts, and earn the financial success necessary to have an abundant life?

 

Networking University

Two years ago, as Chris and Josephine Gross were outlining their bold dream for this professional journal, the idea of a networking university sprang up. The idea was that by using Networking Times and the growing community it would serve, we could design a "career path training" that would increase the odds of success for those choosing to make networking their profession and their livelihood.

Today, Networking University (NU) is committed to the following mission: to increase the networking industry's retention of professionals who aspire to personal freedom by serving others with greater skill, integrity and responsibility.

Most networking companies provide excellent training on their products and services. Far fewer provide significant training in three other areas critical to networking success: personal development, professional development and business development; hence, NU has dedicated its three departments to these three areas.

The Personal Development Department will focus on topics such as personal vision, mission and goals; building confidence and belief; understanding abundance; and communication skills such as speaking and listening.

The Professional Development Department will include courses such as understanding network marketing, including duplication and the meaning of leverage; identifying and attracting customers; warm market approaches, including home meetings, party plans, telephone skills, and affinity groups; cold market approaches, including using the Internet and lead generation. Other courses will cover topics such as follow-up and follow-through techniques; team-building; selling skills, including benefits vs. features and closing techniques; tracking progress; ethics; and coaching.

Business Development is the third department. Courses will focus on subjects such as your home office, legal business structures, taxes and accounting, web site design, contact management, financial management, and planning for retirement.

 

Learning By Doing

In the coming year you will see us further defining a group of "core competencies" in each of the departments. Demonstration of these competencies will lead to a Professional Certification by the University. Because this will be a competency-based approach, some people will be able to complete the certification in a relatively short amount of time, while others may take a number of years. Our intention is that this certification goes hand in hand with your proven success, showing others in your downline and throughout our profession the value of ongoing learning.

We know that the best learning comes from doing. To the maximum extent possible, we will offer courses that include demonstration, experiential activities, practice and feedback. Course material will be presented in a number of formats. There will be the familiar workshops, teleconferences and web conferences. Another technology we are excited about is web-based delivery that will give you access to instruction at your own place, time and pace--just as your business does.

Our responsibility is to provide you with the best technology and most competent faculty to provide the knowledge, skills and tools our students need to be professional networkers. Faculty members complete a rigorous application process that defines their program and their ability to deliver it. A course-evaluation committee, consisting of leaders in our profession, reviews these applications.

If you are a potential faculty member, please contact us. If you have a successful training program for networkers, we want to know about it! And if it isn't already in a web-deliverable format, and you would like to have that done, let us know as well. In that way, you can leverage your creativity and skills so that networkers can be learning from you while you are asleep! (Sound familiar?)

We know our journal is already a great learning tool and we are working hard to keep it that way. Watch what we are doing. Contact me when you see an area where you think we are doing well. Contact me when you see an area that you think needs improvement. Contact me when you see an area where you can make a contribution. We are a community in which we all take responsibility for raising the level of our profession.

Join our learning team and prosper in these Networking Times!

 

GLENN HEAD is the author of the international award-winning classic, Training Cost Analysis, published by the American Society for Training and Development. In 1989, he established and co-chaired the Graduate Department of Organizational Transformation and Change for Boulder Graduate School in Boulder, Colorado. He was instrumental in the initiation and passage of the Training Technology Transfer Act by the U.S. Congress in 1989. Glenn is a network marketer and serves as Dean of Networking University.