Posts Tagged ‘Connection’

I’ve been writing this blog for 3 years about helping people find connections they need that can empower them fulfill their purpose. ¬†I’m believing that I will be able to use this gift in my full-time career. I’ve gotten close a couple of times but so far nothing has materialized. Regardless, I’ve loved helping other people get the connections they need.

Okay, so I was set up. I thought I was going to see a comedy show in Nashville but in the middle of the jokes, I received a profound message. ¬†Michael Jr. is a great comedian who’s also a Christian. He does some of his shows at churches. I believe my answer was revealed at his show.

I grew up as a latch key kid and from about the age of eight I had to be very independent and responsible for myself. I’ve always taken pride in the things I was able to accomplish on my own without support from anyone. The problem with this is that because I’m seen as a strong, dependable person, I help others and don’t like asking others for help unless I can’t do it.

Michael Jr. showed me that I have a problem receiving from others. Getting things from people makes me feel uncomfortable unless it’s for a special occasion. I may be the reason that other people haven’t offered to support me. Would if that’s the reason my dreams haven’t materialized? What I finally accepted is that I should give to others but I should let others also be blessed by letting them give to me.

Michael Jr. did something so amazing at his show. He called up an audience member that happened to be deaf and her interpreter. He asked her if there was anything she needed. She was reluctant (she probably also had a problem receiving) but she eventually said she could use a special needs nurse to help take care of her child so she could go out on a date sometimes with her husband.

Michael Jr. asked if there was a special needs nurse in the audience and the was only one. So he connected them and the nurse was willing to help care for her child. Of course this gave me goose bumps as a person who loves to connect people. Stay tuned, he plans on doing this more at his shows and I hope I can somehow be a part of helping this project.

 

When I ask people how they feel about networking, typically they have a negative response. The majority of people say it makes them feel uncomfortable and awkward. Another problem is that they leave a networking event with 15 business cards and don’t know what to do with them. Here’s some advice to ease the anxiety about networking. I usually ask questions that center around these categorizes: interests, desires/goals, and needs. This makes it easier to break the ice because people enjoy talking about topics they’re interested in discussing.

Interests: In the last post, I discussed asking people about something they’re currently working on that they’re passionate about instead of asking what they do. Some other questions you could ask are, what causes/charities are you interested in? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Desires/Goals: What are some career goals you would like to accomplish? If you’re attending a conference, what are you hoping to gain from attending this conference?

Needs: What challenge is your top priority to get resolved in your business/career? What brought you to this event?

When you exchange business cards, if there isn’t a picture of the person on the card, on the back write down a brief description of their appearance. Also, write down one interesting they said during the conversation and a possible common interest. This will help you to determine which people that it could be beneficial to follow up with after the event and remember what was said during the conversation. Before you call them, make sure to look them up on Linkedin to discern if there are some other ways you can bring value to each others careers.

connecting the pieces

When you are first introduced to someone, during that initial conversation you ask them questions about their occupation, where they’re from, what school they attended, social activities, etc. Why do we all do this? We do this to make assessments about their background like their socio-economic status and the type of people they affiliate with regularly. The purpose of collecting this information is to gauge if we have any similar values. We instinctively go through this vetting ritual to determine if we have anything in common with this person, is there a connection between us that can add value to our life.

If there’s a common link that can potentially be meaningful, we will offer that person the opportunity to connect with us further. If there’s no apparent link, we will most likely end the interaction there. Therefore, offering ourselves to connect with another person is a gift that we consciously decide whether to give or withhold.

So what is the Connect with your Calling project about? An article in March 2014 issue of O Magazine by Dr. Sanjay Gupta (http://www.oprah.com/health/Just-Say-Hello-Fight-Loneliness) highlights a study that asserts a person’s quality of life is based on the number of meaningful connections they have with others and at any given time roughly 60 million Americans suffer from loneliness. To advocate for better mental health, O Magazine is promoting purposeful social interactions with the “Just Say Hello Campaign” where people are encouraged to say hello to a person they wouldn’t normally talk to or reconnect with a person they haven’t been in touch with for a while.

I plan to take this campaign one step further, during The Connect with your Calling project, I will intentionally seek to connect people that on the surface wouldn’t have anything in common but can empower each other to reach their full potential. I hope that you will follow this journey with me. It’s my desire that you realize there’s power in connecting that can help you as well as someone else create a more meaningful life.