Become a Catalyst of Connection
May 15th, 2019 | Laurie Hawkins
Connecting is about your ability to engage in a way that leads to trust, belief, joy…it’s this physiological shift that occurs when people feel like they are heard, understood and cared for. You want to connect in a way that you create a reputation and are memorable. It’s not just who you know, it’s who knows you!
Growing up in a small community, it took me decades to realize the true meaning of connection. Not because I didn’t understand it, because it was such an innate part of our upbringing and surrounding, that I didn’t recognize the uniqueness, importance and power of it. It was truly just how we lived. From the connection of neighbours to knowing almost everyone that you went to school with and their families to the organizations you belonged to –sports, guides, clubs etc. Everything was so inter-twined.
I love the conversation around 6 degrees of separation – where I come from, there are no degrees of separation…well maybe 1.
In fact, last week, I attended an event in the community where I grew up. In large cities, it can be a challenge to get people to attend events. The event that I attended was a rotary event, an annual fundraising event called rural- urban, where the town and rural people come together once a year to raise money for community needs. My father is a Rotarian and supports the organization of this event. I don’t live in this town anymore and there were approximately 500 people at the event. It could be a case study on connection.
As I walked in, I immediately heard my name and received hugs. I could not walk a foot, without another hug and called by name, asking me how I was, how my children were. I was able to take my 22-year old daughter with me and everyone called her by name and knew exactly what was happening in her life. It felt like a caring family of 500 people.
Like the Cheers song, “where everybody knows your name.” What a remarkable feeling. Of course, knowing that I would be having a conversation around connection today, I was hyper aware of what was happening around.
So many people today have this ongoing dialogue about being RICH. Everyone wants to be RICH. Growing up, my Dad had this consistent monologue about money…he would say that being rich had nothing to do with money. In fact, his definition of being rich to us was about creating connection – that true wealth came from the relationship you built…ultimately that would lead to success, fulfillment and financial wealth. Being at this event was an excellent example of that.
I left feeling so rich…fulfilled with true connection.
Do you have a little black book?
I’ve have always believed that every human interaction that I have is planting a seed towards something. Perhaps the seed isn’t for today and will grow years from now. You truly never know why people come across your path. It all becomes part of your little black book.
I don’t have a little black book…mine is red for sure. The principle is there though. It’s not just about number of connections though, it’s about the quality of those connections. Who could you call on? What reputation have you built? What would people say about you if someone referred you?
Five C’s for Building Connection
Curiosity: Asking questions, being genuinely interested in others dreams, challenges, problems, desires…stamp that says “tell me your story”. People love to talk about themselves, people love for someone else to listen and care.
Confidence: Your self image…everything about how you show up, projects an impression upon others. What is the image you have of yourself? What kind of image do you think you project? What is the lasting impression that you are leaving?
Consistency: Showing up and being prepared is 90% of success. Start something and then quit before you know if the results are there. 3 feet from gold. Showing up and staying in touch. Weekly newsletter, daily blog…follow a routine!
Curation: In today’s busy world, people are overwhelmed with communication. Do you always provide as much value as possible? One of the ways to do this is sort through the noise and curate value for others.
Communication: The belief that it has happened. Excellent communication is a cornerstone of Connection. Connecting is about engaging in a powerful way that requires your message to be delivered in a meaningful way. Is your message compelling?
Take some time to reflect on how you can build more curiosity, confidence, consistency, curation and communication to build deeper connection.