Growing our Connections and Keeping Them.
Simple phrases and actionable steps.
Of the millions things which I am not good at, one of it is keeping touch. I am really bad at keeping touch, with my mentors, with my friends, juniors etc. If I am doing something that gets all my attention and soul. Well I am trying to get better at this. Not loosing touch.
So I went back to drawing board. Downloaded a few books, went through a few pages of each of them, one of the book stood out, so I read this book completely.
Nothing wrong with business profits, just this blog is not going to be about it. This book has a lot of beautiful takeaways.
What to expect
This blog is more of a notes of the the book “How to be a power connector” by Judy Robinett. There is not a lot of personal anecdote, as I am still trying to apply this in my own life. Hope you guys have fun while reading it.
If you want to achieve any goal, you need other people help you do it. Your chances of success are far greater if you can help other people achieve their goals as well.
Play Long-term Games With Long-term People. All returns in life come from compound interest in long-term games.
Continuing on to excerpts from the book.
Recognize an important truth: every person has a gift to give and receive, and every person has problems that he or she needs help to solve. When you engage with others by looking for their gifts and problems, when you seek to understand and add value consistently, you will build the kind of profound relationships that will enrich both of our lives and businesses.
Bullet points on building strategic and professional relationships.
Add value to every interaction. You have to have a compelling “value proposition” for high value connections to pay attention to you.
Create a 3d connection that adds value to multiple people at the same time.
Seed any conversation with information about you and your interests so people will remember you without feeling that they have been “sold”.
Four secrets of High Value Connection: be generous, caring, thoughtful and add value quickly.
Build a simple visual organization system to keep track of your network of high value connection.
Favors that start at a low level to gauge interest and build trust, then progressing upward and outward.
Bullet points on mistakes in networking we should avoid.
Networking at wrong places for what they need.
Networking at wrong level for their goals.
Having no way to assess the relative value of a new connection.
No system for optimizing their networking efforts.
They fail to network in the best way to create high-value long-term connections.
Before people are willing to help with the big things, they must know you, like you and trust you. And the the way, they will come to know, like and trust you is through regular value added contacts through time.
As you can get the idea growing and keeping your connection needs a lot of efforts and it doesn’t come naturally to anyone. This is something to be always kept in high priority and getting better at it daily.
Questions for getting a reality check on our quality of connection
How many of your relationships do you focus on giving and receiving value that improves both parties lives and businesses ?
In how many relationships are you actively providing value ?
If you needed to reach a top professional, financial, and/or political figure how long it would take ? If so do you have clear and written plan for reaching them ?
Do you have a plan for managing your strategic relationships so that you can stay connected easily and frequently ? If so, how is it working ?
How diverse are the ecosystems in which you have strategic relationships ?
How many groups are you connected to, and how many groups are connected through you to to other groups ?
Concept of Weak Links and Power Connector
A weak link is crucial bridge between two densely knit clumps of close friends, weak links are the critical connections between your network and individuals you would never have the chance to meet otherwise, but who might be exactly the people you need. In truth, the week links in your network may be some of your greatest assets.
A network itself is a living being, just like the people in them. It continues to evolve.
Weak links becomes stronger as you work with them or spend time with them; strong links become weaker as circumstances change and people move or retire or simply fade out of your life. You need both strong and weak links for your network to be healthy.
A power connector -
People whose contacts reach across many arenas and cultures, creating new chains on information, relationships and access.
A simple recipe for making connection
Sought to add value
Following though your commitments consistently.
5 + 50 + 100 rule
According to Robert Dunbar, optimum group size is around 150. That’s how many we can keep track of at any given time.
I have taken this number on face value for now. No proper drilling how true is this, what are the critics etc.
Top 5. The 5 people closest to me. I connect with these people almost daily, These are the people I would trust with my life.
Key 50. The 50 important relationships that represent significant value to my life and business. I tend these connection carefully, and I am always looking for ways to add value to them .
Vital 100. The 100 people I touch base with at least once a month. Both the human touch and added value are critical to my keeping these relationships fresh.
Character Traits of the Long Term People
A fare subset of these skills in variable strength.
Another important anecdote
The people we naturally gravitate to are not the only people we should have in our networks.
The set of things we are likely to click on … isn’t the same set of things we need to know.
Building a Wide, Deep and Robust Connections
Get to know people who don’t agree with you.
Look for geographical diversity.
Look for personal diversity
Find people with wide-ranging interests and passions. There is nothing more boring than a bunch of people who do nothing but talk business because that’s all they in their lives. We need to be with people who have passions, interests and experiences different from our own.
Ask about their families, ask about their hobbies, vacations and causes.
Look for professional diversity.
Look for other power connectors and players in their fields.
Like Donna from Suits.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others
Select one group and become active in it. Go to meetings regularly, and take a position on the board of directors. By doing this, you create visibility within the organization and you have the opportunity to show people what a good leader you are.
On First Contact
If you like others, they are usually more open to liking you back. Focus on whatever you like or admire in others. But don’t ever violate your values simply to be liked.
Two key traits warmth and competence, people assess when they interact. While both are important, warmth was assessed before competence and it carried more weight when it came to our relationships. This “reflects the importance of assessing other people’s intentions before determining their ability to carry out those intentions”
For people to like you, you must engage with them. Ask questions and listen to answers. Provide value in the moments and then you do something to indicate you wish to continue the relationship.
“Credibility, Care and Competence. Three things which describes trust in brand and individual. With every commitment you keep, every phone call you return within 24 hours, every article you send, or favors you do, your credibility rises.
We have to be car-full, full of care, no matter what the relationship is. I care about you, your need, who are you, and what you bring to the table. Caring is at the core of all relationships.
Getting clarity on What you have to offer
Getting clarity on What you need
Evaluating your current network
Putting your contacts in 5+50+100 power circles
Creating a plan to reach out to new relationships
Make a list of all of your professional, personal accomplishments and the ecosystems they have allowed you to enter. This list includes everything from religious affiliation to charitable organization, sports team, community groups and academic networks. Mention the ecosystem like Industry, Community political etc in which those accomplishments were made.
To assess your value-add potential, make an inventory of your skills, knowledge and strengths. This also helps in tough periods of your life, you can look at this, and see oh shit I went through this. This is nothing.
List your weaknesses and deficiencies in skills and knowledge. What do you need to improve personally and professionally ?What do you need to learn or add ?
How to create a list of connection
This list includes everyone in your phone, your gmail, outlook, etc. Look at your Linkedin connection, look at your facebook friends. Make this list comprehensive, everyone from your local barista to dry cleaner, everyone.
Now from this list of connection, select your top Top 5, Key 50 and Vital 100. Your key 50 are friends and associates whom you know you can call upon all kinds of help and advice and vice versa.
Social Networks require tending… While social networks are fundamentally and distinctively human and ubiquitous, they should not be take for granted.
Setting goals and Critical Resource Map
Set your goals for variable time-frame and make a list of resource you need to fulfill those goals. Make a list of people who might have them or help you access those resources.
Don’t be afraid to think big and small. There’s no reason you can’t reach those at the top of industries or professions, and there is no reason you should ignore those who can provide you with an easy entry to a particular ecosystem at a lower level.
Being introduces by people who already have the credibility in a particular ecosystem will help you be taken seriously. It’s essentially “borrowing” their credibility in order to open a door. That credibility should be considered a sacred trust.
If your power circles don’t have connections in the ecosystems you are targeting, do some research. Check twitter and Linkedin; see which bloggers, writers and publications cover this area. Which names crop up regularly in this particular field. Which companies and organization are important, who are their key players, how can you reach them. Remember entrance into an ecosystem can be gained by going-up, going down or sideways.
Target Connect and Engage
I believe that you need to need to give people a sense of who you are before you tell them what you do and that’s what your share is designed to do. It’s way of telling your story that educates others about your heart, head and gut. It helps people know you and hopefully begin to like you. Start with personal details; talk about your family, your hobbies, and your civic or community involvements.
Start small. Once granted, a small request opens the door to other requests and favors. Often the best thing to ask for first thing is advice.
Make your ask specific
Make your ask appropriate to the person, room and ecosystem
Build your ask around a story that expression your passion
Be willing to ask for help
Whether or no people are able to fulfill your ask express your gratitude for their time and ask them to keep you in mind.
Say hello, Mariott’s “15/5” rule.
The first three minutes of a connection are vital for building rapport.
Give a firm handshake and smile.
Be attentive to body language and tone of voice.
Be fully present and listen.
Ask great questions
Building a deeper connection
Find something in common, a person, location, experience or point of view.
Find out who they are—discover what is important to them professionally and more important, personally.
The best way to provide value for others is to focus on them and find out about them by asking questions they enjoy answering—like, “How did you get started in business ?”. If you ask about what they do and what they enjoy most and you actively listen, you’ll find it easy to create a relationship.
Share and be real
Empathy, solution of all problems
Give or add value immediately.
Mention your ask, don’t sell it.
Create intrigue—lay the foundation for other meeting
Make a commitment and follow up quickly
Three golden questions :-
How can I help you ?
What ideas do you have for me ?
Who else do you know that I should talk to ?
That’s all. I am glad and grateful you took the time from your busy life to read the blog.