Become a Master at Connecting


Recently, I had the opportunity to meet two incredibly talented and generous pros in person. They both work in the field of innovation for growth, and we discovered we have many more things in common than we thought, even though we have lived in distant parts of the world from each other.

It's uncanny how that happens, isn't it?

This idea that making connections is also (and I'd argue especially) about helping others get what they want is a good practice.

Characteristics of good connectors

Good people are fairly easy to spot, even though they are usually head down getting the work done. By the very nature of how they spend their time mastering a set of skills and following their north star, purpose, they tend to work and connect with good people.

What characterizes good connectors?

Have had multiple careers

Thus they are familiar with the common elements that help people succeed in different environments. Among the side benefits of constantly learning new ways are:

  • gaining a sense of perspective
  • exercising humility
  • mastering diverse bodies of knowledge
  • being exposed to all kinds of cultures

A non linear resume or biography used to be a red flag. A sign you lack a clear sense of purpose. Many organizations still see it that way.

I look for the common threads within the larger story. When they're there, I spot a connector.

Create value and impact by connecting

Is their guiding principle with ideas and people. The ability to see and recognize patterns is part of identifying and making sense of growth drivers. Good complements to a focus on value are:

  • being purposefully generous
  • communicating an authentic desire to be helpful
  • keeping promises with confidence
  • developing the ability to make better promises in the future

Master connectors who create value an impact, contrary to myth, are not the super extroverts, or life of the party. In fact, quite a few I know are fairly private people.

Tim Kastelle, who I met recently in person after years of reading his work online, and vice versa, is a well traveled connector. Yet he would not define himself as extrovert.

Connect to add, not take

Spot a serendipitous attitude and you know you've come across someone who possesses this characteristic. The intent that powers this approach manifests as:

  • driven by curiosity, not scarcity
  • thriving in moments of need
  • overcoming obstacles by virtue of reaching out to others
  • getting practice on taking chances

By the time I met Greg Satell, I had read his blog cover to cover, if there is such a thing. He is even more dynamic and keen on adding in person.

As I said for many years, find someone who in more interested than keen on coming across as interesting and you spot a master at connecting.

Look for opportunities to connect people and be creative at spotting points of interest. In the age of social networks, it pays off to remember the mantra: don't expect, connect.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.