How to Master the Art of Connection – What Great Leaders Do

What Great Leaders Do - Upside Thinking

The first day at Design Your Destiny Live, I share with the audience that I’m a social introvert.

And, while I have learned how to be less socially awkward, I’m still an introvert and re-charge by resting and being by myself.

My reason for disclosing this at the beginning of the event is so that people understand when we take a break, I really need to be quiet.

I don’t stay in the room and mix and mingle – or strike up conversations.

With my handler by my side, I head off to the green room, close my eyes, and seek to re-charge my energy supply.

Sometimes I even get 10 minutes of body work or do a prayerful meditation.

It’s just enough time to fuel up my power source and get back on stage for another module.

I also rarely attend evening events – and am not one of those people who is the center of attention at a party.

At social events, I’m usually off to the side, having a conversation with someone I already know.

Yet, I realize the value of connection – which is why I’ve written 2 books on the topic and have an entire section dedicated to building powerful partnerships at Design Your Destiny Live.

When I was working in Federal law enforcement, there was a time in my career where the guys didn’t really want to work with me.

They did their best to make my life a living nightmare – and I was really struggling.

After signing up for a 7-month leadership course offered in partnership with the United Way and Rutgers University, I finally got the significance of understanding the art of connection — how to connect with others.

I realized the importance of forging new relationships – and how they opened the door to opportunities, income, and influence.

Despite my discomfort in large groups of people, I have gone to my share of networking events and worked on building what today I lovingly refer to as my “billion-dollar database of friends with business benefits.”

The relationships I’ve cultivated have paid me big dividends over the years – and I have one of the best networks of anyone I know.

Growing my business has been a lot easier because of the relationships I’ve built over time.

And, that’s important.

I’ve built them over time – not all at once.

And, I’ve cultivated them, like tending to a garden.

I’m also clear that connection is both art and science.

What are signs of tripping up or stumbling in this area of connection?

  • When someone talks about what they do but you don’t really understood what they said they did. 
  • When someone (perhaps me) says, “You need powerful partnerships. ….” And you think, “Sure. But, where do I even start?!?” 
  • When you simply feel worn out by all the juggling all there is to do to grow your network. 
  • When you run around trying to meet people, online and off, and you think you’re connecting, however, you really just end up having one polite conversation after another. 
  • When you sincerely want to make a difference in the world and you’ve got this great product or service — and yet nobody seems to be listening let alone buying.

Well, the 1st blunder is that connection does not equate to sales, nor is it a means to solely market your product or service.

Connection is a linking up of two or more entities – and for me, this linking leads to potential powerful partnerships where more good can be created in the world by our synergies.

The 1st key in mastering the art of connection is CLARITY – crafting your road map.

For many people, clarity is a challenge.

In your mind, you may be clear about who you are, and what you are good at, however, are you good at communicating it in a clear and concise way?

Does your listener or reader really understand what it is you do, and more importantly, who you are?  

In 2007, I wrote “Designing Your Destiny” because none of my clients at the time could answer these three (3) questions with ease within the five (5) minutes I gave them.

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do? Or better yet, What do you want?
  • Why does it matter?

Ultimately, these questions give you insight into your ideal connection.

Are you clear what you are trying to achieve?

Do you understand the outcome you expect for — not just from — your clients, partners, and team? (Be as specific as possible.)

Are you clear about what you can offer and what you want potential connections to do next?

To attract great connections that open the doors of opportunity for you, it doesn’t matter whether you own your own business, or work for someone else. In either case, you need to identify who you are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there by using a written plan.

If you haven’t identified where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

Action What Great Leaders Do - Lisa Marie Platske

The Upside Challenge of the week is to examine your level of clarity for connection. On a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being the highest), how clear are you when answering the 3+ questions?

Connection is the thing.

And, the world needs you and your brilliance.

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