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Networking is extremely important for young professionals, students, and anyone in the workforce or community organizations. Building and maintaining connections leads to doors being opened or built that were not there before. Saying I was impressed with Creative Indiana’s Networking event does not adequately explain the wonderful night of getting to know members of the Bloomington Community. It was also nice to gain some perspective on my aspirations and I hope that using the tools learned, I can reach my goals.

The first step of the event was to sign in and explain why I decided to attend the event. Taking a quick glance at the sign-in sheet, I was able to see that there were people there for both personal and professional reasons. It was a good mixture of individuals coming together to find out what Creative Indiana was offering.

I was given a color coded card that corresponded with a table. I thought this clever tactic disrupted norms and got people who arrived in groups to separate and take the opportunity to meet new people. This was a nice, organic way to help develop networking opportunities. The next step was to choose a picture card that corresponded with a metaphor for my aspirations for 2017. These images went from artistic, to depictions of nature, to any number of random things and helped me actively think about and define my aspirations. I grabbed an image and headed to my assigned table. I was eager to meet the other participants.

Next we were encouraged by motivational speaker David Quick, to meet the members at the tables, and come up with an interesting way to introduce ourselves as a group. I happened to be the youngest individual at the table, so I was initially intimidated. However the participants were kind, and genuinely cared about what I had to say. I appreciated David’s prompt to use creativity to introduce ourselves in a fun and comfortable way.

One of the biggest positives Creative Indiana offered at this event was a place to be heard. So seldom in our daily lives are we offered a place to come together with strangers and talk about our current aspirations, projects, and fears. What was most magical about the experience is how natural it felt. The people were willing to talk about whatever they are currently involved in while I was able to talk about my current goals.

Next Innovation Consultant and Creative Action Coach Ladi Terry directed us to use our pictures as triggers to engage in discussion about different aspects of our aspirations and possibilities we might pursue.  We then partnered with a tablemate to share our pictures and the ideas they brought to mind for us, resulting in a fun full table discussion.

Ladi’s expertise in the field of creativity was intriguing and inspiring. I am extremely happy to have gotten the chance to hear her speak, and to feel a degree of her passion for this field. She introduced the “Target” tool which helps someone put in perspective what in life is pushing them towards their goals and what is pulling them away from their goals. For me, it actually worked! I was amazed how I could learn and understand a tool and then specifically apply it to my life.

To anyone who did not get a chance to come to the event, or missed it for whatever reason, I would implore you to attend the next one on March 2nd. Creative Indiana is doing magnificent programs that not only teach good lessons and offer great networking opportunity, but they have created a space where your voice can be heard.

 

 

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