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Nikki’s Tip of the Week – week-ending  12th May 2018 & some Opportunities

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Now that I have finally gotten my arm out of the sling and beginning to get back into the work flow of things, I can’t wait to get back to Networking.  Apart from giving me access to ‘like-minded’ individuals and the possibility of forging new relationships and links, it also gets me out of the office and out of my own headspace – and that is always a good thing.  Being an introvert means that I have to constantly be aware of the dangers of becoming a recluse, and that for me is a very real thing.

For those of you in Johannesburg, Colleen Larsen’s next “Boardwalk” on the 29th May and Nicole Van Eedn’s Business Doctors Breakfast on the 30th May are ideal opportunities to network.  Let me know if you need the details.

Until then, don’t forget to have some fun . .

 After the Weekly Blog Tip, there is also some exciting news/information/opportunities from the following people:

 Colleen Larsen’s Gender Mainstreaming Awards and a Newbie award.

  • Renata Volpe’s Managing and Dealing with Corporate Politics in the Workplace. I have attended this particular workshop and can really recommend it. It certainly did make me aware of and change the way I addressed certain issues.

Here’s the deal . . .

Please feel free to engage with me, or not.  Please feel free to send me your own snippets of information, early warnings, appropriate funnies and what have you, to share with other like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs and start-ups.

I hope and trust that you will enjoy the journey with me.

This weeks’ Blog:

Networking 101 – Why we Need to Network

By Nikki Viljoen of Viljoen Consulting CC

I promised to continue this section with why we need to Network.  Again, I can only use myself and what I believe in as an example.  As a natural networker, it is extremely difficult for me to understand how people don’t feel the need to network.  Most of us use networking in some form or another on a daily basis.

Ha got you there didn’t I?  Well we do!  Ladies, if someone asks you where you got the new dress that you are wearing and you tell them where to go – you have networked.  You have recommended that someone go to a specific place in order to purchase a specific item.  That is a referral and referrals are part of networking.  Gents, if you are telling your buddy about the new golf course that you played on over the weekend and suggest that they play a game there because it was fabulous (ok, so maybe you did not use the fabulous), you have networked.  You have recommended that someone go to a specific place in order to purchase a specific item.  Again that is a referral and referrals are part of networking!

So why is it so difficult to do it in the business arena, specifically when it is our own business?  Who knows!

Anyway, today that is not the question on the table.  The question is “Why do we need to network”.  Well I suppose, strictly speaking, we don’t.  We could go the really hard route and do the cold calling thing and knock on doors or try and book appointments with CEO’s and Directors of Companies by sweet talking or bribing the dragons called PA’s that protect their Lord and Masters from members of the General Public.

Networking is about taking our passion, together with our personal profiles or our own individual Branding and getting it out there, visible, so that people will refer others who need our services, widgets or whatever.  Understand that this will not happen for very long if you cannot and do not deliver.  So our credibility has to be strong and branding has to be clear in order for us to stand out from the crowd.

My take on this is that Business needs to be fun, and trudging around the planet having one door after another slammed in my face, because they have never heard of me, is not my idea of fun!

So I choose to Network.  I choose to meet with people who are of the same mind as me.  People who want to do business, who can make a decision and who know what they want and are prepared to go after it.  People who make things happen rather than wonder, what the hell happened?

Going to networking meetings organises and structures this and makes the experience all the less painful – particularly if the meeting is facilitated or even partially facilitated.  For one thing, there is no hidden agenda, we are all there to do business.

Make no mistake, networking is still hard work, but the bottom line is that you have a foot in the door.  That is what a referral or lead is. .  a foot in the door, now it is up to the individual.  What are you going to do with the foot that is in the door.

Many people do not like to network because of their own misguided perceptions.  I constantly hear “I never get any leads” (don’t forget to put the whiny voice in when you say these words) or “They’re a waste of time”.

Well that is because the person, who usually utters these statements, has sat in the meeting like a lump of lard and expected relationships to build themselves, or referrals and leads to fall out of the sky like manna from heaven, or to claw it’s way up out of the earth specifically to land as a contract in their laps!  To them I say – get real!

Networking is about meeting the right people quickly and effortlessly, so that the business of relationship building can happen quickly, so that business can be referred and deals can be struck and money can be made.

So, do you still think that there is no reason for you to Network?

I will continue this saga next time, with some great tips to Network with.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or or

What’s Happening in the Life of Colleen Larsen & Business Engage

Herewith notice of two additional categories for the 6th Gender Mainstreaming Awards.



Nominate an individual for the Inclusive Leader Award.

Nominated by a subordinate, or group of subordinates, this person (male or female) demonstrates business leadership qualities that are aligned to the ethos of gender mainstreaming.

They have ingrained into their leadership style a recognition of the provable benefits to their business that diversity brings, with special emphasis on gender.

The nomination is made by a person or group of people who know the nominee very well, primarily in a business role, and the nominee accepts the nomination in writing.

Visit…/…/134-inclusive-leader-award for the criteria for nomination.




Nominate an individual for the Positive Role Model Award.


The nominee will be a female role model who is acknowledged as a person who is changing the face of gender mainstreaming in her own way; by her actions, deeds, utterances and general mannerisms.

The nominee is nominated by a person or group of people who know her very well, primarily in a business role, and the nominee accepts the nomination in writing.


Visit…/135-positive-role-model-awa… for the criteria for nomination


Kind regards



What’s happening in the life of Dr. Renata Volpe


Remaining informed and being able to understand what is happening contributes to continued mental health.

Politics are those actions taken within an organization to use power and other resources to obtain ones preferred outcome in a situation in which there is uncertainty.

Click here to register

Dysfunctional politics generally:

  • Maintain the status quo
  • Promote group think
  • Advance the individual agenda at the expense of others
  • Avoid, confuse or prevent custodianship of assets people and relationships

Healthy politics may:

  • Advance the organizations agenda
  • Are appropriate and future orientated
  • Enhance individual resilience
  • Enhance sense making, meaningfulness, manageability and goal setting

In summary political intelligence is:

  • The ability to read the environment
  • Staying focused on goals and action steps
  • Recognizing where the power lies
  • Identifying the true motives and hidden agendas of others
  • Maintaining a sense of humor

If we consider that leaders are astute players of politics, the good news is that being politically smart is a skill that can be mastered. Each of us has a natural political style that can be made more effective. Your challenge is to learn how to play the game whilst simultaneously trying to improve the rules.

Click here to register

Why you should attend!

  • Leaders are astute players of politics
  • Being politically smart is not a trait but a skill that can be mastered
  • Each of us has a natural political style that can be made more effective.
  • Politics are a pervasive part of the fabric of corporate life.
  • For better or for worse, power and influence rule the turf.
  • Politics may be defined as the art of getting things done and reaping the rewards, or as getting things done in the face of opposition.
  • For those of us serious about our careers, political acumen is an essential competence in the world of work.

Module One – Setting the scene

  • Why are politics everywhere you go?
  • What is the function of political behavior in everyday work life?
  • Does political behavior always have to be negative?
  • Understand the drivers of human behavior.
  • Determine the consequences of not understanding the rules of the game.

Module Two – Assessing the turf

  • What is the culture of the company within which you work?
  • Determine your own style of play.
  • Assess your level of competence.
  • Are you working with purists, team players, street fighters or a manoeuver’s?

Module Three – Create your tool kit

  • The AAA formula

Module Four – Name the game

  1. The cleaver
  2. Faking right and going left
  3. The lobbyer
  4. The poker player
  5. The set up

Module Five – Diagnosis, tactics and interpersonal skills

  1. Setting boundaries
  2. Working with unsafe people
  3. Negotiating your future.

Module Six – Improve your Political Intelligence (PQ)

  1. Knowledge
  2. Attitude
  3. Skills and
  4. Actions

Module Seven – Living with yourself and raising the stakes

  • Personal mastery in a political context
  • The leaders role
  • The last resort

Click here to register

Facilitator: Dr Renate Volpe

Award Winner – The most Influential Woman in Business and Government (SME – Education & Training, CEO Magazine) Dr Renate Volpe is a recognized expert in the arena of people development, leadership and change management. She represents a unique combination of academic ability (PHD in leadership), is a successful corporate player with thirty years of business experience (first as an employee and then as a business owner) as well as being a resilient and innovative entrepreneur.


R3 450.00 excl vat p/p
Refreshments, Comprehensive Training Manuals

In house Training:

We also do in-house workshops for a minimum of 15 people


Date: 27 JUNE 2018
Registration: 8.30 – 9h00am
Workshop: 9h00 am – 16h00
Venue: Tshikululu Investment, Metropolitan Office Park Block B, 8 Hillside Road, Parktown – JHB.

Click here to register