Are you a Network Weaver?

Prepared by: Johnstad & Associates

Healthy networks have people who fulfill the role of Network Weaver. Are you a Network Weaver? Here are some good questions about this role. Why is this role important? How would I know if I’m effectively playing this role?

Network Weavers share information about the Minnesota Food Charter Network with people, organizations, and groups involved in this work, inviting people in. That is, Network Weavers hear about or encounter a gap in awareness about being part of our Network and make the connection or help find the right person to make the connection.

June Holley says these are people who:

. . . take responsibility for making network healthier by connecting people, coordinating self-organized projects, facilitating networks, and being a network guardian.

Granted, that is a lot so let’s focus on the connecting people aspect. Fill out the Checklist to see if you are already a Network Weaver.

Consider sharing the Checklist at a network meeting and having members also complete it. Discuss the results and how you might support each other in fulfilling this needed role.

Share and discuss pages 38-42 of June Holley’s Network Weaving Handbook as a peer-learning activity.

Checklist of Network Weaver Roles [1]

Mark each item from 1 to 5 with 5 being a “major strength” and 1 being “lack this quality.”

____1. I love to unearth other people’s dreams and visions, strengths, and gifts

____2. I help people identify challenges and introduce them to others who can help

____3.  I encourage people with skills and resources to connect to people with needs

____4.  I model an approach to relationships that is positive, appreciative, and focused on strengths and gifts

____5.  I treat everyone as a peer

____6.  I encourage complex reciprocity (meaning I share information and resources with others without expecting a return from that person because you know others will share with you)

____7. I print out the value of knowing people with different perspectives and from different backgrounds

____8. I encourage people to listen deeply to each other

____9. I encourage people to identify shared or overlapping interests or values

____10. I help people make accurate and realistic assessments of others

____11. I help people ring innovation and new perspectives into their network by adding new people


Interpreting your score:

45-55 = You are really into this role, keep it up, and think about supporting others to be Network Weavers.

34-44 = You are getting there, identify a few roles that you want to strengthen in the coming months and commit to a plan to learn more about them by reading and talking with other Network Weavers.

33 or lower = This role may not be for you but be sure you are not doing things that are discouraging connections.  But if the role seems appealing to you, learn more about it.

[1] Adapted from June Holley’s Network Weaver Handbook, page 44.