Nine months ago, I shared an article called Forget Networking. How to Be a Connector. Since then, I have developed and offered a class on just that. It’s been a popular class – surprisingly so – and I’ve learned a lot through teaching it. For instance:
- People have a hard time realizing their existing network.
- There’s genuine interest in developing stronger connections with people, but fear of going about it the ‘wrong’ way.
- It’s a tough sell on why you’d want to go out of your way to connect two people with each other, because people want to unveil the hidden agenda.
I’ve also fine-tuned my definition of a Connector, which I think was a huge self-learning for me in 2012. I didn’t previously parse out what exactly makes me a Connector, nor did I think about why it is an asset that I can leverage in my career or otherwise. Here’s how I define it:
A Connector is a person who…
- has lots of great people in their network
- naturally introduces members of their network to one another
- is socially fluent
- is known and respected in their communities
…and who uses that power to bring individuals in their network together constructively and with overall success.
This year, I have embraced this personality trait and run with it, and I’m proud to have connected people over ideas, shared interests, collaborative potential, accountability, research, and resources. I enjoy connecting good people, and am fortunate to have (or to create) many opportunities for doing so. It’s a science, an art, and an energizing delight.
Most exciting to me is that connecting people unleashes unlimited potential. I can’t wait to see what partnerships, conversation, and social change are sparked through catalytic connection; the power never stops!