The Art of Getting Connected- Add Value!

Looking for a job?  A new client? A sale?  Being successful is all about being connected!

Meet my client, Hugh. Hugh is in his first year of being a marketing team manager for a very successful international software company. I was meeting with Hugh this weekend (yes, sometimes I work on the weekends).  He was having a real struggle admitting that he was wearing his "it’s all about me!" pajamas.  This is the cozy little spot that self-centered people crawl into. The little hole they dig for themselves. It keeps them stuck and miserable.  I had to gently, and then not-so-gently point out to Hugh that the world does not revolve around him.  We explored how damaging this behavior had been to his connections.  People, prospects, co-workers, stopped having lunch with him. They wanted nothing to do with him. He had no friends.  Everyone was turned off. Hmmmm, I wonder why?

I love to read Jeffrey Gitomer’s words of wisdom.  His Little Black Book of Connections talks about the importance of not being a parasite in the relationship.  It is important to be a giving party to keep the connection alive. Gitomer urges us to provide value to the relationship–  "Give first rather than ‘ask for’ first". Hugh is not the proud borrower of my copy of this book.

Mike Sansone, blogging Master of the Universe, talks about this too when he works with people new to the blogosphere.  He urges us to look at social media as a way to connect through having a conversation. The value that we add is in extending the conversation through the use of social media.  By doing this we can create world-wide connections.  The world is flat, you know.

In Trust Matters, Charles H. Green offers another thought about the importance of developing the connection habit.  "Be nice, competent and of service to everyone—as a habit.  Then when the uncontrollable comes around, you’ve got a reference."

When I work with organizational leaders, managers,aspiring managers or business owners we always take some time to discuss connecting with internal folks as well as external folks.  We define who the internal customers are, who the external stakeholders are, and who the target audience or clients are.  We then purposefully and thoughtfully plan strategic ways to connect to each group to add value. 

One of the simplest ways that we can add value to any connection we have, personal or professional, is to simply ask "How can I help you?"  This is is done from a giving stance rather than take, take, take, it’s all about me. Exit Hugh who has some homework to do this week. 

What about you?  How can I help you get and stay connected?

No Responses to “The Art of Getting Connected- Add Value!”

  1. Hi Rita,
    Thanks for referencing one of my blog postings.
    And thanks for the collection of good thoughts on connectivity.
    I can relate to your client Hugh’s dilemma; it’s part of the human condition. The “it’s all me” pajamas are a horrible wardrobe to live in. Part of the trick is to just notice it.
    Some other phrases I have collected over the years that help me remember it:
    “It’s never about me, especially when I think it is.”
    “Just stay in the middle of the herd and be right-sized.”
    “I’m not as bad as I think I am, nor as good as I think I am. I just think too much about what I am in others’ eyes.”
    “Humility consists not in thinking less of yourself, but in thinking of yourself less.”
    I find a curious freedom in the occasional revelation that, frankly, other people don’t give that much of a damn about me! Anyway, not as much as I tend to think they do.
    Thanks again for the good thoughts,
    Charlie Green

  2. Rita Perea says:

    Thanks for sharing your insightful comments, Charlie. We all have Hughs that can serve as teachers, if we let them.
    – Rita

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