Find Support in Unexpected Places,
Leslee Hill, Director, WEOC at The NIIC
The Importance of Vulnerability and Sharing Your Connections
A successful business or career is hardly ever created alone. You build it upon support and good relationships.
Whether you have just hit the ground running, or eyeing the next level of growth, continuously building connections is very important. Many times, you can find them in unexpected places. As you impart value to people around you, strangers can turn to friends, mentors, and loyal clients. Relationships propel success.
Build connections through vulnerability.
Networking is so important! It is a great way to interact with others and form new contacts. However, it is more than just passing a business card out to anyone you meet at an event. Ultimately, successful networking results in a connection. It starts with being genuine, open, and vulnerable.
According to research published by the American Psychological Association, deep and meaningful conversations help forge connections. However, people stick to small talk most of the time because “we underestimate how much others are interested in our lives and wrongly believe that deeper conversations will be more awkward and less enjoyable than they actually are.” If you’re not comfortable talking about your family or how you were brought up, you can focus on business transparency. Talk about the beginning, ups and downs, and growth stories. In being vulnerable, we reveal something meaningful about ourselves.
Creating a connection is one thing. Cultivating it is another. There need to be follow-up one-on-ones, connecting on social media, and even adding a calendar note to reach out to connections once every couple of months.
Gain Through Sharing.
Connected people look out for each other, help one another, and push each other to the next level because they believe in each other.
Be willing to share your contacts with new connections. The more we all lean on each other to expand our webs, the more successful we will be. A personal email connecting the two parties for a coffee or lunch meeting may take the time you don’t think you have. Yet, it will set the tone, signaling that you think highly of both parties and the connection is meaningful. By sharing, we gain.
New connections can open doors and give you access to advantages. But that’s not all. Being open to welcoming new people into our lives can also lead to lasting friendships and incredible business alliances.