Lit’Talks | 05 | Professional Networking Ethics

Daastan is back with another exciting episode of Lit’Talks. In episode 5, meet Dinh Long Pham, Founder of Life Line Podcast and learn all about professional networking ethics. 

Meet Dinh Long Pham 

Dinh-Long Pham is a French-born of Vietnamese descent. Pham is supporting youth to achieve greater impact. He loves to meet new people and encourages all those around him to experience the joy that comes from human connection. “How can I help?” is Pham’s defining character trait along with community building and social gardening. In addition to that, his love for networking and meeting new people led him to start the Life Line Podcast. In his free time, Pham enjoys doing improv and plays badminton.

LifeLine Podcast 

Pham loves to interact with people and listen to their stories. To him, those stories have always been a source of inspiration. So, to extend that inspiration to other people, he wanted a platform widely used by the youth. Therefore, he hit upon the idea of starting his own podcast. 

But Why a Podcast? 

There are numerous ways of storytelling so why did Pham opt for podcasts? He answered this question beautifully. 

“Firstly, I enjoy panel discussions but the problem with them is their limited timespan. In that limited timespan, it’s very difficult to know about a person. And I’m someone who is not only interested in what people do but also why they do it. Secondly, when a Dutch friend of mine told me his story, I was in awe. I knew at that moment, people needed to hear this story.” 

“The Life Line Podcast by Pham is innovative and diverse,” says Ommer, CEO Daastan. Another creative aspect of Pham’s podcast is the inspiration that anyone can get out of his initiative depending on what answers they are looking for in life. His podcast probes worth-considering questions through one-on-one conversations with the guests. Moreover, Ommer pointed out that podcasts shatter the picture perfect reality we see on TV. In doing so, they connect us with people we otherwise consider ‘celebrities’.

What is professional networking? 

Professional networking is the type of interaction between people that benefits them professionally. Networking often carries a negative connotation as it appears superficial says Pham. But he is here to bust that myth.

Professional Networking
Dinh Long’s insight on networking.

Why is professional networking important? 

Ommer and Pham talked about the importance of networking in professional settings in detail. They covered all the aspects ranging from job opportunities to becoming confident through experience and expert advice. From Pham’s perspective, professional networking is a way to uncover one’s untapped potential. It not only acquaints one with a diverse group of individuals but it also expands one’s professional perspectives and horizons.

Professional Networking
Importance of Professional Networking

Redefining Networking 

Whether it’s professional life or personal, intention is important. Therefore, Pham emphasises that while meeting new people; do not always look for personal or professional gains. It’s best to let things take their natural course. Most of the times, in professional networking, opportunities make their way to you. Whereas, at other times, it’s okay to just observe, learn and get inspired.

Professional Networking Guidelines for Layyah 

We told Pham about our vision of Layyah 2.0. And he gave us some icebreaking tips for the newbies in networking along with some advice on dealing with disagreements.

  • Keep your presentation tidy.
  • Travel
  • Observe
  • Work on your non-verbal interaction skills.
  • Make people around you comfortable.
  • Be yourself

Disagreements are a part of professional life. They are opportunities for a person to learn and grow as a professional. Let’s take a look at Pham’s advice on dealing with conflicts:

  • Welcome constructive criticism.
  • Don’t entertain hateful conversations.
  • Assert yourself in non-violent ways.
  • Empathise with your rival.
  • Judge less, understand more.

Importance of learning global languages

Learning different languages opens door to  exciting opportunities. Pham credits his ability to learn languages for the unique opportunities he has got in his career. Speaking of languages, Pham is fluent in French and English. Apart from that, he can speak Spanish and is learning Vietnamese. He considers language as a tool for networking. In his experience, once language barrier is removed, strangers start to understand each other better. Moreover, being proficient in various languages is a an added bonus to one’s skill set.

Here are few of the tips Pham shared with us regarding language learning:

  • Have an objective in mind while learning a new language.
  • Don’t acquire a language only for the sake of learning.
  • Watch TedTalks and Movies.
  • Download a language learning app.
  • Take formal courses.
  • Plays games & do speaking activities in the language you are learning.
  • Make friends with people who can teach you their native language.

Respecting Diversity

Being a social entrepreneur, Pham understands the role diversity plays in a professional environment. It seems as if cultural navigation comes naturally to him, considering the connections he has been able to build with people all across the world. However, that’s not the case Pham says. Therefore, he let us in on a little secret.

“I grew up in France. The culture there is tactile. So, when I meet people it’s natural that I lean in to hug. But whenever I’m in Asia I have to be attentive and put aside my instinct of hugging. For, the culture here is different. Sometimes I end up doing what I’m used to. But then I reprogram myself and adjust.” 

Another aspect Pham emphasises on is observing tiny details about a new place and its people. According to him, observation and listening goes a long way in understanding and  developing respect for different cultures.

respecting diversity
Dinh Long on Diversity

We would like to conclude today’s blog with a message from Pham to you all. His philosophy on life is, “If you believe in something, just go for it!” 

Noor Hashmi
Noor Hashmi is a student of literature at Numl University. She is an aspiring poetess. She runs a blog by the name of “Diaries of Huda” sharing her journey through poetry. In her free time, she loves to paint and bake.

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