What do you think of when you hear the term “networking”? Since the explosion of social media, networking has taken on a whole new meaning. In my doctoral research, I’ve studied social network learning, which has nothing to do with social media. Social network learning investigates the connections that exist, formally or informally, within an organization.
To me, networking, whether online or in person, is about connections. When we connect with other people, we find common ground, similarities, shared experiences, and even differences, to discuss. While I do my best reflection when I am alone, writing, I find that the topics on which I reflect the most often arrive after a connection with someone else. A conversation with a colleague, a twitter exchange, an excerpt read (yes, I consider my reading to be a connection between me and the author!), all can lead to new thinking.
Reflective questions to consider:
- How do you network?
- Do social networks help you reflect as a leader?
- In what ways can we bring networking into the norm of our educational system?
- Who or what in your network pushes your thinking?
Abecedary of Reflection