Are You an Effective Networker or a Connector?
The term ‘networking’ or 'networker' has been around for quite some time. One popular definition of networking is “to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, especially in finding employment or moving to a higher position”. For many in business, networking is considered to be one of their most important activities.
How Do You Network or Be a Networker?
There are many ways to network or be a networker. We all do it to some degree, and some are better at it than others. When many people think about networking, they think about functions where you go around the room, shake hands and give out business cards to anyone who will make eye contact with you. While this might be of help to some, more than likely it’s rare when you make a true connection.
Usually, it’s a waste of time for everyone involved (unless you take value in having a really big business card collection). Think about the networking parties you’ve attended in the past. Have you really had success with these functions? Look at the business cards you’ve collected from networking parties. Can you even remember the faces of the people that gave you the card?
Most of the time, people are looking for the exact same thing at networking events. They’re all looking for employment, new jobs or to fund a business venture. In other words, everyone is there asking the same question: “How can you help me?” Most of the time, unless you can benefit them directly, they’re on to the next person, never thinking about you again. This is unproductive for everyone involved.
What's a "Connector"?
There is a term that is picking up a lot of momentum lately. It is called being a ‘Connector’. A connector spends time connecting people that may have similar interests or needs. The connector has a wide range of contacts and enjoys putting people together so they can achieve their goals – with little or no benefit to the connector.
Why would a connector be so selfless as to want to do this? It’s because connectors truly enjoy getting to know people. Everything they do is about building relationships and naturally building bridges between themselves and the outside world. Connectors crave human interaction and view people as unique individuals, not as stepping stones toward their own personal goals.
Connectors feel that everyone has something to offer. Many of them feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when two connections come together and succeed. Even though they are not looking for a financial reward when they are putting people together, there are always possibilities for that. By selflessly connecting people and not trying to be a middleman, people will remember their generosity. A connector may have that kindness returned down the road when they least expect it.
Connectors can also share in the bragging rights when a deal comes together, whether they benefit or not. Put enough people together doing business deals and your name will start popping up a lot in conversations. You’ll always be in the mix of things. And since a connector is unselfishly working to bring the right people together, respect and trust is built. And that is something money cane never buy.
The road to becoming a connector is not for everyone. Your starting point begins with you. You must understand who you really are and what you want out of life. You will need to fully embrace the idea of making the world a better place through unselfish acts that help others, not yourself.
Do you have the qualities to become a connector rather than just a networker? If so, today is a great time to get started. Make a selfless connection today, no matter how small it is. See how it makes you feel. If you get a sense of achievement and pride out of the connection with no thought of the benefit to you, then you’re on your way to becoming a powerful connector.
Questions? Contact Us!
Do you know a Connector who always tries to build relationships rather than personal gain? Do you feel like you could become a connector yourself? What tips might you have for people that are interested in changing their label from Networker to Connector? Let us know what you think. We want to hear from you!