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The power of connection is worth its weight in gold

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Yamba waves during a golden sunrise
A golden sunrise in Yamba earlier this week

Networking in our local area lies at the heart of everything I do with my new venture.

After all, Little Big River is all about connecting groups and small businesses in the Clarence Valley and hopefully creating something great together, then telling everyone all about our successes.

From experience, I know that when working in communities, being authentic, taking the time to really listen, and investing in long-term relationships and new partnerships pays off.

But as a newcomer, it can be hard to get the tone right and ~ unless you are brave enough to ask people directly ~ you can never really be sure how your efforts (or messages, services, or products) were being received or what to do differently next time.

One day you are all the rage, but the next day you could be 'out' because you made a faux pas or someone has said something negative about you (or your business). Maybe they were just jealous of your success, maybe they were misinterpreting your intentions, or maybe you've never met them and they are confusing you with someone else. And if nobody checks the facts or warns you, you may never find out why everyone suddenly stopped engaging with you or buying your products.

This is especially true in small, rural communities where anyone who sticks their head above the parapet ~ by making changes or introducing something new ~ runs the risk of getting mowed down.

It's extremely unfair, but the issue is real and often there is only one way to find out... you have to tackle it head on.

This week I took the (scary!) step to ask people I have worked with for personal feedback about my community communications skills. It turns out, I needn't have worried, or so it seems. I am very grateful for, and proud of, the wonderful new testimonials I instantly received from former project partners and fellow volunteers.

This feedback also reminded me that I am not alone. I am part of a network of amazing people, mostly strong, intelligent, dedicated and passionate women, who clearly have our communities' best interest at heart and who readily support others who show that they genuinely do too. The power of connection, investing in social capital and giving credit when credit is due, is worth its weight in gold.

Get your own gold

If you also need some constructive feedback or helpful references, I can help you design an easy-to-use survey, poll or feedback form that you can send out by email, add to your website or social media, or print and hand out.

Knowing if you are on the right track can help you avoid costly mistakes and help you retain clients, customers or volunteers. I specialise in communiciations and community engagement and I have all the tools to help you on your way.

But, hey, don't take just my word for it. Check out the latest testimonials on my new Business Profile page... they really made me blush!

~ Barbara Winters


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