This is a topic that I personally am passionate about. This is relevant to levelling up in your career, or advancing to the next stage in life. Both of which are areas that I commonly work on with clients. Part of the reason that connections are a topic that I am passionate about is the fact that I’m an American that grew up in a small town, and the other part is experience based.
Here's an example: It has happened to me multiple times in my life that my best clients, or even some of my best opportunities happened through contacts. I sang in many choirs growing up, and when I moved to Prague I sang for 2 years in a very small choir of 25 people. During that time I had more job opportunities offered to me by those people that I sang and played music with than during any other time in my life. Purely because I was interacting with so many different people from all completely different walks of life who genuinely appreciated me and who I was.
A common coaching topic is creating opportunities for oneself. Many people don’t see the doors that are open, or know how to access those doors. While at the same time seeing others much less skilled than themselves moving ahead with their plans and in their lives.
Why is that?
A large part of creating opportunities and advantages for yourself is getting out there, talking to people and being a person that can be respected, is polite and trustworthy. Sell yourself. That doesn’t mean be full of yourself and list your achievements to every person you meet. No, that means be respectful to everyone you meet, treat them with interest, and listen to what they have to say. Soon they will come to see you as someone who deserves respect because you first showed interest in them. Then the opportunities start flowing in.
People are great at connecting others together. How much value does that add to you as a human if you become one of those great connectors? People will start wanting to know you and be acquainted with you for that reason alone. If you’re someone selling a product or a service, having someone recommend you or say that they personally know you is going to be a major boost and reason for that new acquaintance to try out your product or services.
Understandably as humans we all have a tendency to be self-centered, and this makes it difficult at times to put the interests of others first in a conversation. It’s a skill that needs to be worked on. The human psychology automatically brings us closer to those that are interested in us and our stories or interests. Practice listening, connect with people at a more genuine level and see how new and different opportunities become available before you. It is then your choice to take them or not. Depending on if those opportunities align with your personal goals and values. Who would ever want to turn down the possibility to choose the path they take rather than being forced down a path that they may have not chosen for themselves.