I recently accepted the position as Executive Director with The Get Together Northwest after attending one of their monthly luncheon events. My experience at the meeting was both surprising and exciting.  I was surprised because The Get Together model of purposeful and meaningful “networking” is getting it right like no other that I am aware of.  It was there, in my excitement of finding this exclusive style of networking that I committed to being involved with The Get Together Northwest.

At each monthly luncheon, business professionals, nonprofit executives and ministry leaders gather together, break bread together and begin working together to meet the needs of local charities that serve our community.

What an incredible concept!  I left that meeting feeling accomplished, engaged and inspired.  I also left with a new career that I would have never imagined for myself.

What is the difference?  Well, it’s difficult to forget someone that you worked with to solve a problem or helped meet a need with.  I remember the team at my table that day.  I remember their names, their professions and what we accomplished together in that short time.   I only received one business card, yet, I’ve reconnected with all of six of my team since that initial meeting.  I’ve also been in touch with quite a few others that weren’t at my table.

I found with The Get Together Northwest, I’m meeting people who gather together briefly with a purpose other than self-promotion.  By doing this, we are communicating more clearly our gifts and talents. Sincerely, I wanted to know more about everyone that I worked with in that short period of time.

So as you can see, I was hooked.  This shocked many that know me well.  Tonya does not like networking events.

I’ve often compared networking events to walking on ice.  It’s often cold, uncompromising, slippery and fast-going.  In other words, it wasn’t a place that you would want to be for very long, especially if you’re wearing heels!

Yes, there are exceptions.  Yes, I’ve met some wonderful people at networking events.

However, networking isn’t really working.  I haven’t left any of the past events I’ve attended feeling as though I’ve accomplished anything.  That is until I attended The Get Together Northwest luncheon event this past January and then again at The Get Together luncheon a couple weeks later.

Our time was not wasted there.  In a little over an hour we were able to connect as a team to come up with creative solutions to meet the needs of local charities that partner with The Get Together groups.  We witness each other’s gifts and talents.  We remember each other and what we accomplished together.  Shocker:  We’re actually looking forward to the next opportunity to Get Together.

I’ll take the productive NetCaring™ approach over the haphazard networking approach every time!   Why don’t you join me at The Get Together Northwest’s next luncheon!  I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

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