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  • Writer's pictureLeadership Victoria

Networking and Connection: Keeping it Real With John Espley

Today marked the conclusion of our 2020 Resilient Leadership Program. Our participants joined us for the final session this morning to connect and conclude our learning journey over the past 8 weeks. Today's session was about networking, with a focus on the connection imperative in supporting one another through these trying times.

The Resilient Leadership Program is an initiative to support the leadership teams of our community-serving organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic. We were thrilled to have had networking savant John Espley join us to dig deeper into our connective skills and grasp at forming a deeper community of practice.


Networking... even without the social barriers present in pandemic times, it can be challenging. Facilitating the growth of a network and community takes skill; how can we hone our connective skills to form a community of reciprocal support and helping practice?

It's important to remember: networking is not about you. The goal is to learn about others, and further, learn from them. Everyone has a story, skills, and value. When going into a networking opportunity, we need to be proactive in thinking about what connections we want to make; who is going to be at the event? Why are they there? Why am I going? Identifying the needs of others and ourselves is imperative for a symbiotic networking relationship.

At the core of it all, we need to recognize our human, and the human of others. We are people connecting. Build the initial bridge wherever you can meet - whether it's on the topic of dogs, kayaking, etc! From there, you can discuss industry from an authentic interest. Networking is person-centered; invest in rapport, because you simply can't cheat connection.

For this session, we prioritized opportunities for collaboration. We invited our participants to connect in small groups, and further, to be open to nurturing these relationships moving forward.

We extend our gratitude to John Epsley for facilitating this inspiring learning session, and to our signature sponsor Coast Capital Savings and the support from the City of Victoria in making the Resilient Leadership Program a reality.

Learn more about the program by clicking here.

Find out more about John and his work at his website,

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