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Feb 13, 2012

Forget Networking. How to Be a Connector!

After hearing master networker Keith Ferrazzi speak at MonaVie 2.0 in Dallas, I began reading his book Never Eat Alone. And since then, I’ve given a lot of thought to the topic of networking and building relationships.

So, when I came across this article by Alina Tugend on Entrepreneur.com entitled, Forget Networking. How to Be a Connector, I just had to share. See if you know someone that fits this description of a “connector,” as described in the article:

“We all know people like them, people who seem to know everyone. They’re always able to help—or if they can't, they know someone who can. You meet them for the first time and in 15 minutes, you’re talking with them like you’re childhood friends. They're successful, smart and funny, with a likable touch of self-deprecation. And they’re interested in everything. Who are they? Connectors.”

I think it’s crucial for a networker, connector, or even just a good friend to be interested. Be genuinely interested in what other people like, or are talking about, and you will improve your ability to develop relationships—and learn a lot in the process!

Another crucial skill for a connector is a willingness to reach out and initiate an interaction. In the article, Tugend says, “The willingness to reach out to someone you don’t know is crucial to the art of connecting, and especially important in uncertain economic times. Those who are in mid-career and may have worked for one company for years should learn connecting skills before they need them. For instance, most people’s natural inclination is to seek out friends at meetings and mealtimes. Banikarim says not to do that. ‘It’s easy to sit with someone you know,’ she says. ‘It’s hard, but more interesting, to sit with someone you don’t know. This is not like high school. It’s not just the losers who don't have somewhere to sit.’”

Interestingly, the article also references Keith Ferrazzi (guest speaker at MonaVie 2.0 Dallas) who encourages people to “join organizations that focus on the events and activities you love,” as a great way to network.

Click here to read the full article, and to find out where the term “connector” may have been first coined.

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