This weeks education slot was delivered by our resident painter and decorator Gareth Findlater and dealt with a subject very close to his heart – the social side of BNI. Take it away Gareth…
For much of my youth I played team sports, football in particular and one thing that was just as important then as it is now was team spirit – and how to maintain it. Its easy to forget that, in BNI Bravo, we are a team too. We work as a team – get results as a team – learn as a team and, it follows that we should socialise as a team.
BNI doesn’t take up a lot of our time in a week. 2-3 hours at our meetings, 1-2 hours on 1-2-1s so there’s really no reason why we shouldn’t be able to incorporate BNI social events into our business too and, of course, socialising is a good way to build the camaraderie within the group. Its a great way of getting to know each other a bit better in an more relaxed surroundings and it helps to promote informal discussions about business.
One of the best things about socialising with fellow BNI’ers is that social events and team bonding helps to build up trust with each other. We can learn more about each others business and discover what other members are looking for business wise making it easier to find referrals for them.
We are not talking about having something every week. Normally, 3-4 social events in a 6 month period are sufficient. We also get plenty of warning – at least 4 weeks and sometimes as much as 8 weeks notice for the bigger events. If it is a cross-chapter social event then attending it could lead to a whole host of opportunities to make more contacts for your network and learn more about the other chapters members.
Invite partners/wives/husbands/friends/lovers(?!?) if they can make it because you never know who they know and who or what could crop up in conversation.
So, now that we understand how important the social side of BNI is, let’s make an extra effort to attend social events as it takes a lot of time and effort to organise these things.
You never know who you could meet and you will enjoy yourself and get to know your team mates better.
Personally I am proud to be part of my team bravo from both the business side and socially.