Managing your Networks and Image

Who knows you? What do they know? What do they say about you when you’re not in the room?

Managing your networks and image when returning from an extended period of family-related leave is rarely at the top of our to-do list when just getting to work becomes a major challenge.  However, this week’s blog, written by Andy Lopata, our networking expert, proves that performance alone is not enough if you want to gain recognition and advancement.

It’s very easy to become complacent and believe that just because you understand what you do, who you do it for and how good you are at doing it, everyone else should. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. Managing your networks and image is something you have to put work into regularly. 

One of the most important skills for anyone, whether you are a business owner, sales person or ambitious to develop your career, is being able to communicate what you need and what you do to others around you. You simply can’t assume people know, more often than not you’ll be wrong.

We’ve been misled over the years. All the time we’ve been told that ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, we’ve missed the point that real opportunities come through who knows you and what they know, what they say, about you when you’re not in the room.

I ask my audiences how many of them believe that it’s important to manage that message, so that you can influence what’s said about you when you’re not in the room. Unsurprisingly, everyone indicates that they agree with my statement, yet hardly anyone admits to doing anything about it.

So ask yourself the following questions today:

‘What do I want people to say about me when I’m not in the room?’

‘Who do I want them to say it to?’

Even better, turn the questions around and see things from the perspective of the people who you want to hear your message.

‘Who do I want to hear about me?’

‘What do they need to hear in order to compel the action that I would like them to take?’

Start to see things from other people’s perspectives and understand that what is said about you when you are not in the room may not be accurate, or it may not reflect what you perceive to be accurate. If that is happening it could be costing you opportunities, whether for new clients, new projects or new responsibilities.

It’s up to you to take control and manage your own reputation.



About Andy Lopata

Andy Lopata was called one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists by the Financial Times. Andy is the author of three books on networking, as well as a blogger for The Huffington Post and NatWest Business Sense.

Andy speaks internationally and has worked with organisations such as Deloitte, Merrill Lynch and Mastercard, to help them realise the full potential from their networking. He is also a Fellow and former vice-president of the Professional Speaking Association.

Networking and image management is a theme that runs throughout our career coaching interventions.  To find out more, visit

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