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Participants had renewed energy to face the afternoon workshops. Participatory workshops: A sourcebook of 21 sets of ideas and activities. These two examples demonstrate that pairing up people with a purpose can achieve excellent learning and networking results. Both groups were given worksheets that listed the types of information they might want to share.In advance, the chefs had been told to bring their menus, and the farmers instructed to bring their crop lists.Building an interconnected group of relationships with others is at the core of a person’s effectiveness both personally and professionally.In the workplace today, we need to be known to others as well as ensure that others are aware of how we might be a resource for them.As an antidote, Robert Chambers, in his superb book Participatory Workshops, proposes the "buzz": "So easy. Invite participants to buzz with others next to them--about what has just been covered or done, an issue that has arisen, the agenda.

After 10 minutes, we rang a bell and gave the instruction, "Shake hands and move on." After three rounds, we called a halt.

(Some juggling had to be done to make the two groups of equal size.) Worksheets were passed out to serve as discussion starters.

The inexperienced managers listed market management issues/problems they wanted to discuss.

The event organizer gives up control of the actual content of the interactions, but that is a small price to pay.

Networking can be one of the most powerful and productive activities an individual can do to launch and manage their career.

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