As human beings we have a need for inclusion — being connected to others. Professionally, such connectedness can be a considerable advantage as well. As I wrote in a blog at Big Think today, however, it’s easy to forget that “real” connectedness, the kind that matters socially and professionally, requires more than counting links or followers.
Certainly there is something to be said for quantity of connections when attempting to reach people with our ideas or products. These same contacts can provide advice, at times, and information about other social and professional opportunities.
But being connected in a way that matters is still an art. As I described in The Secret Handshake and It’s All Politics, one of the greatest gifts we can give or receive is truly listening, truly being heard — truly being present in conversation. That means taking time to pause, to think, to recall what is important to people with whom we’d like to generate and/or maintain more than just passing acquaintances.
Borrowing from three of the many people I interviewed when writing about politics, the Big Think blog shares one of the key ingredients of the art of connecting. Employ this approach and what is now merely quantity of connections may be imbued with quality as well.