Understanding the importance and power of networks, combined with new tools is our lifeline.
We have the ability to transform businesses and institutions, and a need to undertake that transformation, starting with re-learning how to connect with each other to make things happen.
That's what true connections can do.
It's never too late to start, and it's not just about social networks. The world does need more people who do great work, and put some teeth behind their writing and thinking.
Make it a habit, and you will see how quickly it yields results.
The 12 habits of highly connective people
(1.) believe you can make a difference
in case you were wondering if this is only touchy-feely, look at how Dana White built a UFC empire out of his desire to connect with fans.
(2.) think knowledge as a service
it's an overused expression, it really does apply. We live in a remix culture, where individuals, industries, and media will thrive by allowing the exchange of ideas. That's where new connections are made.
(3.) take risks
they can be small ones. This was one of my points when I talked about passion as well. Creating new habits involves exploring new territory.
(4.) have a point with your view
in other words, put substance behind the approach. Do your homework, be prepared to defend and discuss a topic intelligently and willingly.
(5.) keep your promises
this is valid at individual and organizational level. Coming through, following up helps you maintain integrity of purpose and build credibility.
(6.) say it another way
if at first it doesn't work, assume it's because your question, request, or inquiry were not clear to the recipient. Look for an example, a story, some other way to make it easier to understand.
(7.) show it
whether it's support, empathy, or active listening, actually demonstrating it is a faster route than a few well-practiced words. Non verbals work wonderfully here.
(8.) connect actively
if needs be, do it then and there. Forward the message, make the introduction, help people see what they have in common, draw them together.
(9.) write it down
inevitably, you will get ideas in the course of connecting. Make sure you have a way to capture them - I still do it the 1.0 way, on notepads.
(10.) let them know you thought of them
this is the nice touch that takes very little time. Depending upon your relationship stage and communication channels open, find ways to show you noticed or thought of someone habitually.
(11.) be present to opportunities
really, you don't need to build Rome in a day, as the expression goes. It's sufficient to be willing to see an opportunity when it presents itself.
(12.) think beyond your close circle
now that we're talking more about circles, as many experienced professionals know, it is often the people your contacts know who are most interesting to connections because they are removed from your day to day.
[image of Italian Alps by me]
[first published here]
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