Common Mistakes In Connecting

  1. Biggest mistake is the thinking that Networking = Connecting. It does not. Networking came along (modern version) with the intent to build “social capital.” That is, using your relationships to build your life. Connecting is way more than that, with a much bigger purpose.
  2. Connecting is about giving, not getting. You don’t connect to get something.
  3. The Giver’s Gain only works when everyone’s got a genuine vested interest in serving the other person. Otherwise, see #1.
  4. There is no “but” in Connectivity, only “and.”
  5. You’re responsible and accountable to yourself and your relationships – no one else owns that. You do.
  6. Card shoving is not Connectivity. Going to an event because you think you “have to” is BS. Shoving your card at someone per said mis/understanding is the death of Connectivity.
  7. Electronic tools and platforms are not Connecting; they are ancillary tools only. Nothing replaces in-person, real human contact, creating and developing real world relationships.

This is a short list. The Connectivity Canon covers what connectivity is and isn’t and you can get your own copy soon, here.

Common Parlance

Alternative Medicine

Pre-existing conditions

Risk Corridors

What parlance is native to your life? What words, jargon, phrases and sayings are common in your everyday activities?

Chances are high that if you speak a language, you’re around others who do, so you share the comprehension.

What happens, then, when you’re around others who do not share the same everyday activities that can handicap communication? What happens when you speak different languages?

The words this post starts with are just that: western medical words.

  • To me: they’re jargon that requires defining. To those in the industry, they do not.

I’ve seen words show up on my various medical forms, records and reports that are unfamiliar and have no accompanying helpful – often critical – definitions. When this has happened, I’ve even brought it to my primary care doc’s attention. Nothing changed when I suggested that, to improve critical understanding between us, they include definitions with these reports.

Case in point: every few years my doc recommends I have blood work done. We can apparently tell a great deal about our health from blood work. Great – I’m all for good health and knowing what I can do to take care of myself better.

Are you committed to speaking the same language?

What I’m not for is that the lingo jargon native to western medicine (and any industry) foreign to me not being explained, with no effort on the part of the provider to teach me. This would make me a better client as well.

What gives, medicine?

It’s maddening at best, dangerous at worst. And lopsided all around.

Connectivity requires strong, open, direct communication. A request by a patient to the provider to supply a terminology guide is a pretty darn small request – and life changing for sure. Connectivity is listening FIRST – finding out how to best serve the ones we choose to serve. It isn’t negating ideas because they’re inconvenience, they’ve “never been done that way before” or any other excuse.

Connectors want open direct honest communication; they foster it, keep learning how to improve and grow so they can even better serve outwardly.

It’s disconcerting that my doc and the practice the doc is part of isn’t more welcoming and proactive to this suggestion. How many thousands or millions of people get blood drawn and analyzed each year? What are the ramifications for one health care blood savvy pro to take this idea and run with it, thereby better serving their clients AND the entire professional industry?

The key is that both parts of this simple equation must be proactive, equally concerned and vested in creating a solution; it can’t be lopsided or you’ll be where I am…. and I still don’t know what everything means.

  • If you’re in the health care arena and know of a guide for me to demystify my blood work results paperwork, I’d love a link. Share it below for all of us to use.
  • If you’re not and you see this massive opportunity, go for it! Let me know how I can support your endeavor to help us all be our bloody best.

Are You The Person To Help Others?

“I want to be the person to help you.”Pamela Czerny

These words came out of her mouth, directly right at me, at a recent connecting meeting. We’d seen each other only two times prior to a one on one get together. As we both asked each other questions and shared in return, I was excited and humbly impressed with Pamela’s genuine grace, interest in the world and in helping others.

This phrase has already impacted my thinking: I want to be the one to help you.

  • What can that do, mean, provide, provoke?
  • Who can you tell that to, sincerely, authentically and with enthusiasm?
  • Has anyone ever said that phrase to you, in earnest?

Words are powerful. They are one way we connect with other people, as well as other animals. Our voice and words matter. This seemingly simply phrase is an example of all the potential you can unlock in a few second’s time.

  • Who can you say this to in the next week and mean it?
  • Who can you thank, who’s already said it to you and made good on their support?

Where Do You Make Connections?

From Capitol Hill connections…

Connections can begin anywhere, literally.

From Capitol Hill to the breakfast table…

Think of some of the people you know: where did you meet them?

When I cogitate this very question, I find it fascinating to track the chain of custody back to the very first interaction (aka First Move). How and where did we meet? Why did we engage? What’s happened since?

Connectivity is all about bringing opportunity to life in everyday circumstances.

  • Headed to a meeting: Who would you really like to connect with?
  • Going to the grocery store: What are your opportunities there?
  • Traveling by plane: Who could you potentially meet in that scenario?
  • Hanging out with friends: What fun topics can you talk about?

...to breakfast giggling: you can make them anywhere.

What I love most about connecting is that when the mind is open – when our Mindset is receptive to possibilities – everything can happen. Expect the unexpected. Be ready.

I’ve meet some lifelong friends and colleagues on planes, at conventions, in stores and pubs.

Connectivity embraces and supports curious people who want to see who’s doing what in the world.

Are you one of those people?

Tell me in the comments below: where do you like to make connections?

What Are Your Expert Signposts?

Once in a while I read something that really resonates with me. Since I read so many books, often the resonation originates in a printed book.

One of those books for me this year is Brendon Burchard’s The Millionaire Messenger.  I first checked out the book at my local library, after a frolleague recommendation. Then, bought a copy. Had to have it. Needed to add it to my functional library at my HQ, write in it, return, refresh and reinvigorate.

In chapter 4, You: Advice Guru, I paused, read the Expert Signposts, and then kept going. I didn’t write the exercise, as he suggests. In reading the book the second time, it was time to execute.

Get comfy, read up, then write your own.

I highly recommend them as a personally clarifying and insightful opportunity to build and grow – yourself and your endeavors.

Expert Signposts

Five things I have learned about motivating myself and achieving my dreams are…

  1. Focus is key; I have to know what my specific focus is for motivation to matter
  2. Write things down & post them on my walls. When I see it, I’m more effective.
  3. My value is first; what people think of my value is secondary.
  4. Create a number for income I want to meet then exceed, reverse engineer it & break it into components, track via calendar.
  5. Let go of things that are not within the focus.

Five things I have learned about leading others and being a good team player are…

  1. Direct honesty rules the day.
  2. Diplomacy is in the room of progress.
  3. Be gracious, kind and polite.
  4. Avoid and walk away from toxicity, negative people and fool’s errands.
  5. Set the example, be an aspirational model.

Five things I have learned about managing money are…

  1. Money is a tool; we can build with it.
  2. Money allows a unique freedom.
  3. Money should be respected and utilized smartly including, when it works, treating yourself to its benefits as well as using it for requirements.
  4. It’s fun to give money to causes you believe in.
  5. Cash flow and revenue are two entirely different monkeys.

Five things I have learned about having a successful business are…

  1. Always be thinking ahead, have at least a loose plan of why you are doing what you do and how you’re going to do it.
  2. IGST reign supreme: Intention, Goals, Strategy, Tactics
  3. Have a singular vision; one priority. More than that muddies the waters and dramatically reduces progress.
  4. Call on other experts to support, help and assist.
  5. Givers gain works when everyone in the equation have bought in.

Five things I have learned about marketing a product or brand are…

  1. Marketing = communication.
  2. I love marketing; it makes me a strong connector.
  3. Marketing is necessary for every endeavor.
  4. No such thing as free or word-of-mouth; it all starts somewhere, there’s an investment of some sort.
  5. Consistency, redundancy and accuracy are fundamental to respect your audience and clients.

Five things I have learned about being a good partner in an intimate relationship are…

  1. Express affection often, in various ways, that are clear to your partner.
  2. Find ways to please them, in various facets of life together.
  3. Happy surprises are wonderful!
  4. Hug often, kiss frequently, sex should be fun and healthy. Appreciate each other fully.
  5. Tell them what you’re grateful as a habit – at least one thing every day.

Five things I have learned about spirituality or connecting with a higher power are…

  1. Everyone has their own way in doing so.
  2. There is no one way to be spiritual.
  3. Respect other peoples’ choices; inquire respectfully so you can learn.
  4. Read, listen, learn, participate in various ideologies to expand your own world.
  5. Peace and quiet are fundamental to contentment and happiness.

Five things I have learned about home decorating or fashion or organizing are…

  1. When I’m organized, I’m happier, more relaxed and can kick butt better.
  2. Find your own style, do it well, stick with it.
  3. Make your home your nest, your refuge, a place you want to be.
  4. Adjust all of these are you want and feel are needed.
  5. Complement others, often, on these very things when you’re compelled.

Five things I have learned about managing my life and being effective are…

  1. Go after what you really want, and who you want to serve.
  2. Be happy. It’s easier on your health and people gravitate toward happy people.
  3. Only do what moves you.
  4. Improve your vocabulary; it builds so many other things up.
  5. Respect others, go toward (rather than away from), and keep going.

What are your Expert Signposts? Learn more about what this has to do with anything else in life by reading his book.

FYI – I share this on my own free will, with no endorsement by Mr. Burchard. While I’d very much enjoy meeting him and growing a relationship, for now, I’m glad to share forward. Feel free to do the same.

First Move In Connecting

A first move is the first point of contact.

If you’re already a connector, you may know this to be true: what’s the first attempt to actually engage someone else, in person?

  • You can be ready with safe, conversational, pleasant topics to discuss if you wish – like if you meet someone in the grocery store, standing in the same line.
  • You can give an authentic appropriate complement – great shoes, terrific jacket – when you’re out and about.
  • You can give a sincere complement to someone in a meeting – “I really appreciated your point on XYZ”.

Connectors know that a First Move is required to get the connectivity momentum started.

What’s one of your First Moves? Please comment below. I’m keen to learn more ways to Connect.

10 Tips 10 Days

10 Tips 10 Days for Connectivity

  1. Set a goal. Connect with a set number of people, each day, week, month, year. I set the goal of connecting with 2 – 5 people every week in 2108 and am on a solid track in the doing.
  2. Read. Reading builds expertise, expands your world view, provides conversation starters and fodder and indicates a general curiosity about our world. Readers really like talking with other readers.
  3. Get to know your neighbors. Literally, the people who are the next door down. Apartments, suburbia or country miles…all neighbors are worth considering. For me, they are the bedrock of how I live in my town.
  4. Ditch the pitch. Time to throw out the idea of having a Pitch (aka Elevator speech). It’s outmoded and the asker of questions instead is always the one sought for advice, services and support.
  5. Service talks. Share what you know at Service Clubs. Rotary, Soroptimist, PEO, Kiwanis and so forth. There are a gillion of them, doing great works, who welcome interesting people. Find one to share (aka speak) at and make new connections.
  6. Get out and about. The computer is not real life, nor is any other electronic substitution for in-person interactions. Choose to go, do, see, visit, learn, listen and engage with other people daily.
  7. Connect with all ages of people. Days or decades of age differences in the people you know provide singular insights and vantage points that we can never experience ourselves. Knowing all ages enriches beyond imagination.
  8. Know your value, be connected to it. Knowing this helps determine where we invest out precious time and energy, attention and resources. Get clear, dig into what fits and discard what does not.
  9. Share.
  10. Create the org chart for yourself. Here’s a beginning tutorial I published on this supremely useful exercise.

Okay – there are hundreds. Start here in whatever order you wish. Simply, start.

p.s. I’ve got these 10 tips 10 days published in my LinkedIn stream….have at it!

How Connectivity Relieves Struggle

If you’re struggling to ________, connect with someone who can help.

Struggle isn’t glorious or grand or romantic. It’s exhausting.

If you are struggling with Some Thing, reach out and find someone who can help you. Myriad options abound for all sorts of assistance, getting-unstuck, finding help, joy and encouragement. Connect to move forward.

This is true, no matter your mindset.

  • Having a great day? Reach out, connect with someone you can help.
  • Having a great day, working through something yourself? Reach out and connect with someone who can boost your efforts.
  • Having a not so great day? Reach out to someone who you’re connected with who can lend support.
  • Having a not so great day? Reach out and find someone to connect with who can lend support.

The next time you struggle, connect. Connectivity = purpose and meaning. Finding and building those relationships of strong connectivity help us all out, in every case.

Someone’s waiting to help you; be ready to help someone as well. That’s the magic of connectivity.

Qualified Events

Qualified events, in current Western medical system speak, means a change of life circumstances.

How beautifully applicable this term is for Connectors as well.

Are you ready for change?

What are your qualified events? How have you changed your life lately to better, improve, alter and otherwise adjust your life circumstances? What may be coming up for you, that you have an inkling about? What are you prepared to manage, even if you are unsure what precisely will happen?

Connectors are doers. They make things happen. They start movements, they lend voice and support, they show up. The mindset of a connector is to be ready to help.

NEWSFLASH: Life circumstances are always changing.

It’s best to bear that permanently in mind, least you experience a ‘sudden’ change that you didn’t anticipate.

Connectors also anticipate the unexpected. Note exactly what will happen or where life will go. Rather, they’re ready for the supposed unanticipated opportunities, twists and turns that are guaranteed to come our way.

If you’re in a doer mindset, then you’re more mentally prepared for these unexpected happenings. You can handle them with more grace, clearheadedness and thoughtfulness.

Be ready for qualified events in life. You get to choose how you cope, deal and succeed with them. Being a connector fortifies your resolve in moving forward, no matter what happens. Being connected to others helps us do this.

Are you ready?

Your Labyrinth Of Connectivity

“Make your labyrinth bigger.”Bruce Gunther

I heard Mr Gunther speak at a gala. What I wrote down from his talk was the above quote.

What the context was, precisely, I don’t recall. What I like about it is that it’s a great way to think about connectivity – the visual and idea of the Labyrinth.

Dictionary: an intricate combination of paths or passages in which it is difficult to find one’s way or to reach the exit.

If we consider that connectivity is a labyrinth, then we can approach it with a smarter, clearer mindset.

  • What path will I take? Why? To what purpose and end?
  • Which path do I not want to take? Why? To what end?

What does your labyrinth look like?

If you’re struggling to find your best paths, a labyrinth may be maddening. It may also provide us with unexpected options that lead to places we didn’t anticipate. That’s a big part of trusting in connectivity: unexpected opportunities.

By its very definition a labyrinth is intricate with multiple options of paths. Connectivity is the same.

As a connector, be prepared to set out on a path, to choose the Y and go forth. You know you can keep going, regardless of familiarity and foreignness. You have to trust that the path will reveal options. We always have options.

Examine your labyrinth. See where the entrance is, your portal to connectivity. Choose and pursue a path. See what you encounter and can impact. Keep going.

At the exit of the labyrinth, you may be so inspired that you go back in. Go.