Harvard Business School Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter said “The most radical and uplifting thing we can do is introduce people to one another to discover common cause”
Indeed innovation, creativity, relationships, business, ideas, actions…all arise from people connecting. In this #decadeforaction, our ability to connect with ourselves, with others and the earth is paramount. We have never had so many opportunities and avenues to positively connect before in the history of human beings. And never has it been more important that we do.
So how many people have you introduced to each other this week?
Connections between people
Often networking advice is about expanding the number of people we individually know. Less focus is given on actually making the connections between them. Reflecting this reality, social media networks like Linked-In and Facebook indicate how many people we have in common. But it stops there. As we often do.
In his bestselling book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell identifies those sociable sorts who are gifted in this arena. These Connectors have the extraordinary knack of making friends and acquaintances and subsequently know and connect a lot of people. However you don’t necessarily have to be one, or a Sicilian for that matter, who in my view are equally gifted at generously sharing their contacts. You just have to consciously think about the people you know who would benefit from an introduction. And proactively facilitate the chance of them coming together.
How we connect people does depend on our culture and personality preferences. Generally those from collective high context cultures such as the Chinese are more used to dense, intersecting networks and will take a long-term view of relationships. It comes less natural to individual low context cultures like Anglo-Saxons who have looser, wide networks, short term and more compartmentalized relationships. Interestingly and it is my experience, that in these cultures most business work will come from acquaintances. Close friends are less likely to make it happen. In terms of personality preferences, extroverts may enjoy getting a group together. More introverted people like myself prefer to make 1:1 connections.
Some cultures or individuals have an aversion to the concept, let alone the word networking. Whether it is ‘networking’, ‘growing your tribe’, ‘gathering your power base’ it is just being a human being in relationship with others, knowing we need each other to survive and thrive.
At the end it does not matter what forum we choose to connect people, or what we call it. It is just important that we do it. Let the energy flow.
Go be radical. Connect your connections today.
And then go and get a bit more radical.
The more diverse connections we make the better.
- Tweet @Rosabeth Kanter, 16 March 2015
- Gladwell, M (2006), The Tipping Point, Little, Brown and Company, http://gladwell.com/the-tipping-point/
- Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash