Who is in your tribe?
How do you decide where and when to invest your time in networking?
Out on my morning walk with Leo, the mud slippery and the spring sunshine bright, I greet my dog-walking tribe. A mixed bunch of all shapes and sizes, including one with only three legs, I know which are the hasty, the friendly, the snappy, the shy, the playful, the on-my-phone, the still trying to teach those tricks and, where is my dog?
We all have tribes - which in this context, are business and social groups, sometimes the two interacting. I am a member of a few tribes because they make me feel like I belong, I am connected, I can seek advice, reassurance, affirmation, work opportunities, I can learn and share knowledge and so often, underpinning them all are the shared experiences. And to simply enjoy the company of others who work in the travel and tourism sector. I have to admit to rarely going outside that perimeter.
In no order of preference, these are my tribes
I belong to a tribe that all worked together long ago at the organisation that was the forerunner to the global leisure giant, Merlin Entertainments. In those days, we’d get excited visiting Warwick Castle or Wookey Hole. We are now scattered far and wide so can’t meet everyone in person, but this doesn’t hinder the reminiscing, but also sharing our current working experiences, contacts, family news and photographs.
I’m a co-founder of the Chilterns Tourism Network, a tribe of 180+ locally based visitor economy suppliers. We meet three times a year at lovely locations across the region to collaborate, share information, look for solutions and keep connected. We also have a closed Facebook group for the day-to-day interactions and transactions.
I have had the huge pleasure of participating in the EU Erasmus+ Learning Journeys. These were such amazing, fun experiences that I will always treasure. I learnt so much from the cross-sector groups of UK tourism and hospitality businesses who travelled together to visit and learn from other EU regions and their businesses. Sadly, this is another Brexit casualty as the UK is no longer eligible. But this tribe is still active, organising training, collaboration, PR, reunions and beaver stories.
And then there are my break-away ‘tribes within-a-tribe’ where colleagues have become friends as well as forming closer professional relationships.
What do all these have in common? They are my professional community. I engage with each in a different way for different reasons, but they are all important to me. Their richness comes from the mix of professional and life experiences, what I can contribute as well as gain from such diversity.
And my fellow dog-walkers? I will only ever know the dog’s name, but they are my tribe too. Tell me about your tribes - why do you invest time with them?
Links you will need
It takes a community to nurture and grow a resilient visitor economy. MaryTebje.com
I write a weekly Micro Travels with Mary newsletter about what is local and special in my naturally outstanding Chilterns, sharing stories about witchcraft, rockstars, food heroes and murmurations. It may just give you the momentum to share your stories.
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