Why & Mindset
excerpt from Connectivity Canon, all rights reserved
What’s Your Why
When I describe connectivity, and distinguish it from networking, one important differentiator is a sense of deep purpose. This is so fundamental as a place to start that I found myself calling it “the Why.”
Your Why is your North Star, so figuring it out is essential to your framework. How do you figure out your Why?
Invest time and figure it out. Do this in your own way. One way I do it is to examine how I’ve made current connections, even the dormant ones, and to what end. What compels me to connect to begin with? Taking a very close and specific look at what drives me to connect and what makes for fruitful connections helps me understand why I do it. Breaking this down—figuring out the specifics of where, how, what—can teach us a great deal as to how we’ve been successful and what to duplicate. It’ll help us determine what isn’t so productive or useful, allowing us to fully recognize missteps and adjust in future endeavors. I also find great joy in tracing the chain of custody of a relationship all the way back to the point of origin (First Move). Wow! “That’s how we met…”
If there is a connection desired, I think: How can I engage? What can I say to help, encourage and otherwise add to the moment? It’s about being interested, not interesting. Asking yourself your own Why before you put yourself into someone else’s day is the beginning step. Once you decide what your Why is, move forward.
There’s plenty of chatter about how to “better” connect with other people, including how to prospect and the omnipresent idea of networking. This isn’t that. “Better” in this book and in your endeavors means examining why you want to seek and develop relationships to begin with. It’s your purpose: your Why. A clear Why drives better in a few ways: learning to connect leads to more confidence. It fosters a greater feeling of ease to do so and thus to keep doing so comfortably, or at least more comfortably than before.
My Why continually impacts my thinking which helps me qualify my time and attention. Is this the right spot for me right now, is it the best place to be, are these the people I really want to meet and serve? My Why provides guidance and focus. Know your Why. Your Why in connecting is a fundamental conversation with yourself.