Create Intentional Connections
Get more of the work you love

Creating intentional connections is one of the most effective ways to grow your business, expand your audience or become a respected community leader. And yet, again and again, people do everything possible to avoid this very simple, highly effective approach to get more of the work they love with the people they most enjoy working with.

If creating intentional connection is so effective why don’t people do it?

The easy answer, it can be intimidating. Getting curious about others was not a skill that was applauded by many families, schools or social circles. In fact, when we were in school we were commended for staying within prescribed guidelines and providing correct answers to the assignments given to us. As we entered the business world we were given tasks and assignments with clear parameters and deadlines. Even managers were provided with goals and directives. In our personal life we stay within a certain sphere of friendships. It’s considered a bit ‘off’ by many to talk to strangers. In fact, many of us were repeatedly told to ‘keep your eyes to yourselves, and be careful not to stare.’

How do you begin to create intentional connections?

First and foremost, begin by getting curious about the world around you.

Whether I’m working with new business owners, seasoned professionals or people in career transitions, their first inclination is to advertise and network. They forget that the most powerful tool is creating meaningful relationships. As I talk with clients about growing their business I often begin by asking what it is like for them when others take a sincere interest in their life. Without fail, they all agree that it feels great.

If this is new to you, take a day and go out and watch people. Ask a stranger a question. I love asking waiters what their favorite dish is. When shopping for clothes there is almost always another woman trying something on and struggling with whether it looks good. Ask if she wants another person’s opinion and offer your input. If you have an exercise, Yoga or Pilates practice take a moment before you leave to strike up a conversation. The reason for this; get outside of your own life and engage with others in theirs.

Now, think about your business.

THIS IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED AS A MARKETING PLOY, YOU MUST SINCERELY BE INTERESTED IN THEM….REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY DO BUSINESS WITH YOU OR NOT!

Begin by imagining your work through the lens of a camera. What it would look like, versus feel like, to do the work you love. Now, create a list of the organizations, schools, businesses, media and people who serve similar work. As you narrow your list to your favorites ask yourself the following questions:

What do they want to offer their clients, company, community or students?
What resources do they need to make that possible?
How might I help?

To find out the answers you’ll need to ask people. Go to their website. Google them. Start asking your friends, clients and colleagues. By getting curious you become informed about their way of thinking as well as their challenges. You begin to know the deeper issues, the key players and what is really important. And an added bonus, as you get more curious and show interest, you will draw people to you in ways that staying silent never allowed!