Networking is essential for a business leader, but the real magic happens when you become a connector. A connector is someone who seems to genuinely know everyone, someone focused on relationships and one who is always thinking of how they can help others.
The mindset of a connector is to help without the expectation of receiving anything in return. When you focus on how to support those around you, your network will grow more authentic and engaged. Connectors trust themselves and are inclined to trust others.
It’s gratifying to introduce people that can provide support and help grow each other’s businesses; those individuals will appreciate your efforts and refer opportunities to you in return. It’s important to acknowledge that connecting is not transactional networking. Authentic relationships are built on honesty and some measure of vulnerability, and that can be a scary thing. That fear, however, that keeps us protective or defensive also prevents the cultivating of genuine relationships.
An introvert might think they could never be a connector, but introverts tend to be empathetic and great listeners. Conversely, an extravert may think connecting is a no-brainer, but beware of the tendency that they may have to think about what they want to say next instead of actively listening.
Connectors are insatiably curious, asking questions to learn as much as possible about the person they’re with. They listen intently and catalog the information they attain. They can always find a way to be a resource and add value.
These unique people are a network’s hub. They build deep relationships so they can make impactful introductions to help others connect with resources that will enable them to grow in business and in life. These connectors are influential and an instrument of success for themselves and others.
Resources: Meaningful Business Connections by Morris Elstien; The Connectors Advantage by Michelle Tillis Lederman; Give and Take by Adam Grant; The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
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