Networking Is Really About Connections-Making
My goal is to be surrounded by supportive friends. These friends in what is then my network are people with whom I enjoy a strong, mutual connection. Every day I make it my business to try to add to this network of friends. After all, we cannot have too many good friends – at any time of life! I call my friends “connections”, and I refer to acquaintances as “contacts”.
Yesterday was not a very productive day for me in the connections-making world. I failed in my attempt to convert a contact into a connection. I believe this happened because of something I failed to do in the relationship-building steps that I know to work: The Connectoring Verities. The first Verity talks about being authentic. I was Real, all right, but I know that I failed miserably yesterday in the “Charm Them” category.
So what does the second Verity mean beyond being taken at face value?
Charm Them is about far more than just being chatty and charming, with delightful, sinful stories! The hidden directive of Charm Them is to get your target connection to talk about themselves to you. Then listen, listen, ask questions, and listen.
What happened to me yesterday is that I got out-charmed. The lovely woman I met with snookered me into telling my story first. She kept asking “buying” questions, and I kept wanting to tell her those stories. And she seemed sincerely to want to hear them.
Then – almost without warning – she looked at her watch, interrupting my lengthy dissertation ON ME to tell me that she had to leave. (I cannot say that I blamed her!) The gig was up, and I knew it.
I’d been out-charmed at my own game, and I’d lost the very good opportunity to make a connection with her. I’m sorry about that, of course, but I’m also grateful. I hope that I have learned a good, memorable lesson!
What was The Lesson? Resist all the charming efforts of your counterpart for you to tell your story first. Deflect those charming questions while cajoling your counterpart to tell her story. It flatters, warms, and makes your prospective connection really want to know more about you. You want them to want to know more!
I know this first-hand from yesterday’s event.
I may or I may not have the opportunity to re-do this event with this same person. If I do, I will do my best to re-do. If not, I’ll just move on to all those other prospective connections that are out there for me.
And they are out there for you as well!
to be successful at this connections-making game – we must be discerning about and know when we’ve actually made a connection. Sometimes we do; sometimes we don’t. (Yesterday I had a meeting with a very nice woman, and we did not make a connection. So I’ve been ruminating about that.)
Relationships are tough – and I want to get better at making and keeping them.
erika hanson brown
STELLAR Connections LLC
denver, co usa
daily connectoring® blog: http://erikahansonbrown.posterous.com