Episode #3: How to build a powerful network - Caroline Flanagan

Episode #3: How to build a powerful network

Networking mistakes

When it comes to networking, people (and especially women) make 3 common mistakes:

1. Keeping their head down, focusing only on doing the work
2. Being too busy juggling work and family and being unwilling to give it the time
3. Hating networking, either because it’s boring or because they don’t know how to do it.

Is this you? Are you neglecting to give your network the time it deserves?

Episode 3 of the BYC podcast is a wake up call to all those who are not giving enough time to building their network. If you’re not adding at least one new relationship to your network each month, that wake up call is for you.

In this episode:

– the one by one network building strategy
– find the gold in your existing network
– the 8 key roles every network must fill
– the Challenge Model, and how to use it to grow your network


Nancy Kline on the importance of listening:

The quality of your attention determines the quality of other people’s thinking

– Nancy Kline in “Time to Think”

The Challenge Model

The 5 stages of the Challenge Model can be used to solve any issue and achieve any goal. They are:

  1. Picture – what does achieving this goal look, feel and sound like, and how does it resonate with your values?
  2. Preparation – what do you need to think in order for this picture to become the reality
  3. Plan – what are you going to do to make it happen? What have you tried? What works? What could you do differently? What do the experts say?
  4. Practise – what action will you take repeatedly? what are you prepared to fail at until you get the results you desire?
  5. Persevere – what challenges can you expect? what are the likely setbacks you’ll experience? what will you do when this happens?

The foundation roles of every powerful network:

Every network needs:

  • sponsor
  • mentor
  • coach
  • role model(s)
  • champion
  • ambassador(s)
  • connector
  • biggest fan


When I came into the office the following Monday, I could see the effect that you’d had. People were visibly changed as a result of your talk.

Oli Holmes, Accenture

Caroline did a fantastic job as the guest speaker at our latest Women with Ambition networking event: 'How to ensure kids don’t derail your career'. Caroline’s talk was engaging and insightful and feedback from our clients that attended was overwhelmingly positive. All of the delegates mentioned they had gained some sound advice from Caroline’s presentation, regardless of whether they were thinking about having children, were already parents or were managing individuals with family commitments. Caroline has been a pleasure to work with and I look forward to continuing to develop our working relationship in the future. I would highly recommend working with her.

Sally Clare, Head of Diversity, Ambition UK

Caroline, I can’t thank you enough for the help you gave me while starting to think of family planning. Your level-headed approach to some of the things I was panicking about has put everything into perspective. Not to mention that talking through and planning how to run my company single-handedly with a child was invaluable. I really appreciate having the after-session documents to work through in my own time and have been referring to them frequently. I cannot recommend a Babyproof Your Life session highly enough when starting to think about children – everyone should do this! Many thanks again.

Client T, UK, Babyproof Client

Caroline came to speak to our Balance Employee Network about “How to babyproof your career so you can balance your life”. I really enjoyed preparing this event together. Caroline took great care in understanding the needs of the audience to make her message even more powerful. The whole process from preparing the event invitation to getting feedback was very professional with a wonderful personal touch.

Louise Walewska, Presentation Client, HSBC Asset Management

I am more than happy to share wonderful feedback about you. Working with you has been life changing and continues to inspire me and help me grow.

Coaching client, Director, PwC Legal

I wanted to let you know that I have been promoted to counsel. Thanks very much to your coaching I have managed to get through one of the most challenging years of my career and managed to achieve what I had hoped to! I might not have made it were it not for your advice and guidance.

Client C, Solicitor