Coffee lucky dip comments and feedback

Andrea and Liesl: coffee lucky dip 2016

In January 2016 I coordinated a "coffee lucky dip" networking event - interested people let me know and I put them in the "lucky dip" and they were matched up with someone to meet. Over 120 people participated across Australia. I asked for participants to let me know how their meetings went. Here are some of the comments, lessons learnt and help offered.


I wanted to say thanks for organising the coffee dates. My coffee with Kate G put me back in touch with Candyce at SV and now I'm working on a ResourceSmart Schools project with them. So that's how networking works, who knew!

Thanks so much for arranging the coffee lucky dip. You did a great job with the match making. Llewellyn and I had lots in common but also enough that was different that I found our catch up thought provoking, informative and rewarding. It was great to have the opportunity to make a connection outside my usual networks. Thanks! I asked for, and got, help on a topic I’m currently researching. I got some great insights and access to a point of view I would not otherwise have had. Thanks for making this happen. Brodie

"I met with my coffee lucky dip last week, the lovely H Though I had met H during her year on the WCLP in 2014, I had not spent more than a few minutes specifically with her. I loved that the opportunity enabled me to ask questions and explore H's career and the values that have led to various decisions. I have reflected on our conversation a number of times since. If you are organising another lucky-dip, please count me in." Sunita

"We had such a great meet-up and our hour together flew by! It was really great to learn about Leonie - not only from a career perspective, but also from other areas in life as well as some of the challenges of being a female in this modern life. Thanks for coordinating Helga, it was a fantastic initiative!" Alisa Hood

"It was really terrific - we had lots in common, including people we knew - Melbourne sure is small. And also lots to learn from each other. Thank you very much for arranging this great opportunity to meet with like-minded women outside our regular networks." Leonie Morgan

"Just wanted to say thank you for putting me in touch with Monique. We caught up a week or so ago and discussed each other’s career journeys and plans for the future. It turns out that we have other contacts in common, but had just never happened to cross paths before as we are now in quite different industries! Great initiative, I really enjoyed it." Justine Tiller, ANZ Bank

"Good to meet today! Appreciate the conversation – very different to ones that I would normally have working in either the retail or finance world. I must admit that when I received Helga's email the coffee idea was a little off-putting as I am an introvert by nature. I figured however that such an event would assist me in 'getting out of my shell' and to make a new acquaintance."

"I think I won the lucky dip. Please find some photos attached. Impressive professional, obvious quality person and, thankfully for me, a very good listener. Thanks for the opportunity. I have some homework to complete and look forward to keeping in touch with S." John Cleary

"Thanks for a useful and interesting initiative Helga!"

"It was great to meet D. I had some potential topics to discuss, but just went with the flow in the end. I think that that's what networking is about and there is always the next conversation!"

"J and I caught up this afternoon over coffee and guava juice. Despite this not being my first one-on-one networking coffee, it was definitely the most interesting and thoroughly enjoyable. I learnt so much about NFP and the roles J plays, including how a number of NFP companies could benefit from internal realignment through adjusting KPI's and some behavioural economics. Not sure if I learnt anything new about myself, probably just reignited my genuine curiosity in people and confirmed that people are fabulous. I think Jim learnt that I ask a lot of questions! J was very kind to offer any insight into NFP companies for future roles I may be looking at, and I hope to be able to help direct some business his way if the opportunity presents. Look forward to another coffee with J in the not to distant future." Sophie Gaballa

"Helga, just caught up with Georgy – love your lucky dip, we had a great walk through the gardens, chat and cuppa!" Saya Lorback, Leadership Victoria

"Reporting in on the wonderful coffee catch up I enjoyed with A this afternoon. There was a very useful conversation had, and possible further connections made. I really valued A's insights on a particular situation I am about to be involved in, and I think it reasonable to say that A too valued talking about one of the tricky places she finds herself in at the moment. Ah, the wisdom of women, and the time to think issues through with another person."

"What a brilliant initiative. We had an amazing conversation, and it was so fortuitous that we found ourselves able to explore something from a different perspective, with different eyes but coming from a place of great honesty and openness. I know it has provoked my thinking, and potentially sent me on a new direction. Well done - and thank you."

"I thought it was a fun initiative. I enjoy meeting people from outside my own network, and professional and personal reach. It's unlikely V and I would have met elsewhere and it was a pleasure to chat over coffee. We offered to help each other out if anything suitable came up. When I was new to Melbourne something like this on an ongoing basis would have been great. I had to work very hard to build my network."

"Davia and I met for coffee today. Such a great idea and thoroughly enjoyed meeting with her. We’ve arranged to meet again in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping to assist her with commercial thinking to some areas of her business and moving forward and I’m seeking her input on managing ‘me’ better with some of the frenetic spinning-up moments when my business days get incredibly crazy, along with helping to look at personal time of what is expectation of oneself vs permitting oneself. She has a calmness about her that I really enjoyed being around and am looking forward to seeing her again." Nicola Pero

"We had a lovely time getting to know each other and discovered that we think the same way in many instances and have heaps in common. I think there is a future friendship and reciprocal supportive relationship available to us now where there never was before, so thank you very much for your initiative!"

"Had my coffee catch-up with Marita in Daylesford yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a good chat and covered quite a bit of territory and hopefully we can help each other going forward with leads." Derek Jones

"Hi Helga It was a real pleasure to meet Meg Dunley. And she has been very kind in helping me find a designer for my new venture." Leonore Ryan

"I actually met with Saya this morning and really enjoyed it. Saya was a great listener and is going to send me info and links to the mentoring program she is working on, something I am very interested in doing." Georgy Wood

Something you've learnt (about yourself, the other person, about networking – anything you like!)

"I met my coffee lucky dip yesterday. It went really well and I felt lucky to get Helen. She is based in Knox so it took a bit of scheduling to make it happen, but I am really glad I went for this one. What the meeting taught me:

  1. Saying yes to things that are unknown can be an unexpected pleasure. Because I am time poor (like everyone) I often refuse offers if I can’t see an immediate relevance, and this means sometimes I have a blinkered view

  2. The more we spoke the more we discovered. Helen and I had quite a lot in common. We really could have done with more time so we are thinking of scheduling periodic coffees.

  3. Talking to a someone you don’t know about your professional challenges is strangely liberating. Helen was a great listener, and she had some interesting insights.

Sarah Thompson, T Group Services

"God gave me 2 ears and I mouth to be used in that proportion. S knows how to positively assist an interrupter understand she hasn't finished and would appreciate the opportunity to do so. Clear that while I understand the disruption occurring across most if not all sectors, my crystal ball on the future is foggy".

"Myself: I have a tendency to consider myself in a box when considering possible work pathways, and I'm the only one who can release this limitation!

J: J is very open to learning from others and questioning habits and trends, and reflects on areas he wants to improve in and isn't afraid to make those changes. Networking: people really are amazing, don't be afraid to try and meet some of them!"

"Nicola showed me that I was thinking small and giving away my power in both a project I am currently working on and an idea I have for a future project. I hopefully gave her some food for thought, but only she can tell you what that was, it may have been around balance and loving the life she has and some space and freedom from expectations etc. It was a great chat from the get go. We both look forward to catching up again soon."

"Nicola showed me that I was thinking small and giving away my power in both a project I am currently working on and an idea I have for a future project. I hopefully gave her some food for thought, but only she can tell you what that was, it may have been around balance and loving the life she has and some space and freedom from expectations etc. It was a great chat from the get go. We both look forward to catching up again soon."

Help that was offered (by you or for you)

Sophie and John - coffee lucky dip 2016

“Connection to Sustainability professional; references on Fierce Conversation and Bridging the Strategy Execution Gap; review S’s resume and make recommendations to create more appeal for commercial sector”

“By me: To connect J’s son with a friend of mine working in a similar area -Aboriginal and TSI specific training and development.

From J: Business models and start-up research, contact to a sustainability professional, resume review.. Just to start! J was very generous and open with his offers to help.. Big thanks J!”

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