Niall Mulrine

Technology: Facebook is great, but face-to-face meetings are even better

Joe Coyle meets Jim McGuinness.

Joe Coyle meets Jim McGuinness.

WE place so much emphasis on social media in today’s world that we tend to forget how networking really works.

How did we all survive without Facebook or WhatsApp when we were trying to communicate with our friends, colleagues and clients?
True, the art of good social networking is a great asset for any person looking to broaden their business or social horizons, although these technology platforms were first created on the basis of “one to one” and “one too many” communication types such as meetings and conferences.


This article is in recognition of someone who has surpassed their networking skills in an all-Irish networking environment that originated in America many years ago.

Business Network Iunternational (BNI) is an organisation, globally found in many cities and small towns, which helps business owners grow their client database founded on nurturing relationships on how to help “members increase their business through a structured, positive, and professional “word-of-mouth” program that enables them to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals”.

In Ireland, there are 50 groups alone and in Donegal, April 2011 saw the birth of the Stronghold chapter in Donegal Town. By July 2014, there was the minimum requirement of 25 members on-board to officially begin the “Working” of BNI.

One of the co-founders of this chapter was Joe Coyle from Joe Coyle Financial Consultants LTD, Mountcharles, who became the no.1 networker of BNI Ireland last month. He is the first Donegal person to receive this and it follows the award Joe, received last year for networker of the year 2013 in Ireland.

Hand-shakes and caring are important aspects of networking
Joe Coyle grew up in Downings and from a young lad, his father would have given him true values of life which Joe passes on to others today without acknowledgement to help others genuinely.

He learnt to survive in Dublin whilst at university by spending time in the library and the boxing halls, where he kept fit and win several medals for his boxing skills. Still no shortage of fitness.
Joe’s recent challenges has included the Ten Island Challenge in 24 hours off the coast of Donegal, the 24 hour solo walk from Mountcharles to Downings in aid of the Letterkenny Cancer bus, which has raised over €10,000 already.

This giving up of his time is testament to what Joe is all about. He gives freely his time and advice to the local community and friends.
Lots of times, people are unaware of what good turn he carried out as he does not look for ego pads on the back. 30 odd years with a multinational life insurance company called Standard Life, Joe moved on to work for himself in Donegal to provide better and true life insurance policies for the Donegal people.


Joe’s first question is always to find out what the people have in mind for their futures, their goals and how to make sure their children will be provided for in the event of tragedy.

Create Goals and achieve with accountability
In goal achievements, Joe has setup to provide mentoring, life coaching and career goals, which fits in with his natural flow of always wanting to help others.

Joe this year was appointed the first person ever to become a Smacht facilitator other the Smacht founder Padraic O Maille – a great honour to behold from such an energetic life coach based in Galway.

Speaking with Padraic recently, he told me that he had quite a fear of heights and he wanted to overcome it, so he decided to ask Joe Coyle to climb Mount Errigal with him. Not telling Joe until half way up of his fear, he knew that Joe was the best person to help him overcome this disposition and had full 100% trust in Joe.

This speaks volumes of the stature of a person who has become No.1 In Ireland’s BNI networking structure. Congratulations Joe Coyle and best success in future

“The quality of your life is the quality of your communication.” ~Tony Robbins

“85% of our success comes directly from our communication skills” has found communication shapes our paths of happiness and prosperity. Whether we speak with people online or offline, we still must remember some basic principles when communicating with people. Listen properly without thinking of what you should say when the other person stops speaking.

Be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying or asking.
When leaving a conversation, it is better to leave the person feeling happier about themselves in some way.

Body language shouts more of a meaning that what your voice can carry.
A negative tone or energy can really leave the other person coming away wondering why they communicated with a person. Keep up beat and happier moments come back 10 fold.

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