With over two million individuals utilizing Twitter every month and more than 1.3 billion people on Facebook every year, it’s safe to assume that we live in an exceedingly linked universe. But are these authentic connections?
What exactly is a “connection”? One of my favorite definitions comes from renowned scholar, public speaker and author, Brené Brown. “It is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” While social networking is a great place to make and nurture connections, we should never forget the importance of a face-to-face, in-person liaison. Don’t get me wrong; I utilize social media, e-mail, and texting on a daily basis. They are incredible tools and serve a valuable purpose but these types of communication can never replace the deeper connection made when speaking to someone face-to-face. Here are 7 ways that you can make more powerful connections in your business:
1. Seek inspiration. There are literally millions of new ideas waiting to be birthed each day. Get inspired by meeting with your staff or trusted colleagues for a lunch ‘n learn brainstorming session.
2. Acknowledge your shortcomings. Even if you’re top in your field, you still don’t have all the answers. Be open about what your challenges are and invite others to share their wisdom and knowledge with you.
3. Connect with strangers. Make an effort to make connections with strangers from different walks of life. Solicit their perspectives to determine how their insight might provide a new or better framework for your business.
4. Start a conversation. There are dozens of opportunities to connect during the day, from standing in line while waiting for your morning coffee to striking up a conversation while helping someone on the street — make good use of every opportunity to connect with people.
5. Network. Get in on as many networking events as possible. Strike up conversations with people in different industries and ask them relevant questions about their business. Networking is about getting to know others, not just telling them about yourself.
6. Make time. Carve out time in your day to encourage collaboration among your staff and team members. This will create a powerful synergy that encourages and inspires them to be more innovative.
7. Practice gratitude. Be grateful for every connection you make. By thankful that you are being promoted by the awesome people you’ve met. Then watch how many more connections will start to come your way.
Many have said that good connections are more valuable than money. When you are well-connected, you can get things done because you are considered to be a person of influence. You also have the respect of your peers which is a most important component in business transactions. So get out there and make those connections! It is well worth the time and effort.