Thursday, November 02, 2006

Are You Connection Conscious?

I am sure that many people will agree with me when I say that connections are at the heart of most success. Knowing the right people, being able to put a call in for help and support and putting people together are all at the heart of making the most of both business and social networking.

But do you really know what a connection is and how to recognise one? Are you 'connection conscious'?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Connection is a noun meaning:

1 a link or relationship.
2 the action of connecting.
3 (connections) influential people with whom one has contact or to whom one is related.

The key to benefiting from the third definition, is that you get the first two right! Knowing how to establish that link and connect to another individual is a special skill and many people miss that opportunity.

You can connect with people on more than one level. On a rational level, it is easy to forge a relationship with people with whom you share an interest, or even better, a passion. Whether you share a love of the same sport, are wine connoisseurs, film buffs or travel to similar countries, if you can find something in common with another person, you will find it much easier to connect.

Alternatively people will connect on a more emotional level. This is something that is much harder to define and is often known as 'chemistry'. Most frequently associated with romantic connections, where you feel that special bond with your partner, we also tend to associate more readily with people with whom we feel comfortable and 'at home'.

When you meet people at business networking events or in meetings, it can often pay dividends to leave business discussions to one side initially and find out about each other. Relax in each others' company and talk about the individuals. It will make it much more likely that you will be able to connect on a deeper level and take the relationship to a higher level, where you are both more likely to support each others' business.

And when you introduce your connections to each other, let them know why you are doing so and on what level you feel they would be able to 'connect'. What do they have in common?

Next time you attend an event, allow yourself to be 'connection conscious' and focus on building more relationships.

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