Now more than ever, with the madness and sadness going on around us, we need to stay connected. Yes, that’s an obvious statement, and this message is everywhere. However, some struggle with the very concept of connecting, networking and socialising.
In my opinion, our ability, even our need, to connect and socialise changes dramatically as we get older. By then we know the kind of people we like to hang out with and most of us don’t suffer fools gladly. And a bright side to getting older is it’s far more acceptable to say what you think! There’s no longer the need to make connections that are vital to your work.
However, when you do need to connect to people for your business to thrive, you need to take it seriously. It’s not even remotely the same as social networking.
When we network for work, we get to know people, and we get to know what they do for a living. But perhaps as important is getting to know “who” they really are. Can you honestly say that’s what you do when you ‘get to know people’? I remember talking to a client about this recently, and we agreed that alongside our business brand, we also have a “personal brand”. This is more about who we are, not what we do. Many people will say that in truth, their work defines them. I can see that. But it’s not really who you are – is it?
So it’s important to get under the skin of the people we meet in the work environment. By finding out what interests people have, we might find more common ground than what was at first seen. And as we all know ‘people buy from people’.
I regularly meet people who are very difficult to “define” by what they do for a living. We all know what an accountant does, and in many ways, Kehorne could be described as website builders…easy. But late last year I met Yvonne from Energy Within – who finds it difficult to explain what she can do for people. So a practical demonstration was offered.
Yvonne’s personal experience has been to work her passion into a business, and it revolves around helping people through a combination of natural healing and Arbonne products to ensure the body is getting the essential things it needs. What becomes very apparent is her dedication to helping people and bringing another element to the healing process. It’s a welcome alternative to a reliance on the drug culture that seems to permeate our current society.
I was impressed with how, by offering me a taster treatment, Yvonne was able not only to show me first-hand what her business is; but to connect with me by going beyond the “Hello, I’m X, and I run a business doing Y”.
So, my point is, don’t just go through the motions of a networking session in an early morning trance. Or give a cursory nod and grunt at a social gathering. Connect. Go beyond names – business or otherwise.
When everything is back to normal, and we can meet, socialise and network, think about how you can get so much more out of good connections – and not only for your business, for your mental wellbeing too.
You never know, over the next cup of (sometimes interestingly flavoured!) networking coffee you could be looking at a friend for life…but you’ll never know unless you take the time to connect.
It’s business as usual for the Kehorne team, and we would love to ‘connect’ with you to discuss your next project. Virtual connections only for now of course!