Quick, think about a person you consider to be well connected. Then as you read these things to learn from the well-connected, see if they match what you observe in this person.
4 Things To Learn from the Well Connected
It took me awhile (years!) to realize that these well-connected people I knew were not just soooooo excited to see or meet me; they loved meeting all kinds of people so much their energy spills over into all their conversations. The end result is that your own energy is raised just from interacting with them.
- Act excited when you meet anyone.
Yes. Newbie networkers want to be efficient and only meet people who can help them or who are inherently interesting. That, dear ones, is a false dichotomy.
Everyone you meet can help you (if they want to) and everyone you meet is inherently interesting (on some topic.)
Even the well-connected
owith high status joke around at their own expense to put others at ease.
If you notice, the well-connected always act extremely excited when they run into you. That’s because they are really that excited. But in many cases, that excitement is an acquired reaction. A habit, in other words.
When you greet people with lots of energy and warmth, they associate those positive feelings with you. Additionally, people like people who like them. Be the first one to appreciate the other.
2. Listen actively.
You knew I was going to bring this up.
The well-connected don’t try to impress you with their accomplishments or try to convince you that you need to buy from or hire them. They don’t need to do this.
They want to find out about you and how you will fit into their well-oiled network of friends.
The shortcut to listening actively can be summed up in this well-known acronym: AA.
Acknowledge what they’re saying. Just saying “How interesting” or “I didn’t know that” … show that you’re paying attention.
Ask follow-up questions to learn more. If you’re an introvert, this is easier than coming up with topics of conversation. For extraverts, it’s a useful habit to adapt.
The quickest way to be known as a jerk is to look over someone’s shoulder, scanning the room for other people to talk to.
3. Contribute something to the other person.
Things you can contribute to someone in a conversation:
:: an introduction then and there, or offer to make it later through email
:: encouragement on what they’re doing or going through
:: a new angle on their idea, business, or career
:: a fresh insight to the conversation topic
A good friend from Charlotte recently contributed a very cool idea to my business. She was visiting Charleston for the weekend and I was updating her on all things Mixonian. As someone who has worked with a number of coaches throughout her many years working in Silicon Valley, she suggested that I develop an in-depth training program for coaches and corporate leaders to become certified communication coaches. I think her idea has a ton of merit and I’m not sure I would have thought of that on my own.
The thing here is that you give, without expecting something in return. No tit for tat. No quid pro quo. That comes later, with dividends, often through another channel.
4. Keep track of people.
I use an Excel spreadsheet for this. There are many apps you can use. The point is you want your system to:
Store names and relevant data like email address, birthday, company, title, relevant personal or business facts.
Ideally your chosen device will ping you when X days, weeks, months (or years) have passed to remind you to reconnect in a way that’s appropriate, depending on kind of relationship.
My spreadsheet doesn’t ping me, but I put in color codes according to last date of contact to take note of the people to whom I want to reach out. Make sure you put reminders somewhere to check in with your network. It’s easier than you think to let interesting people fall through the cracks.
The point is to keep up with people you don’t see regularly, aka filling your well before you need it.
Learn and practice these habits of the well connected and you will soon be well connected.