Mastering the Art of Connection

Post by Tricia Karp for the Kindness in Business series.


print by Andrekart on etsy

Mastering the Art of Connection

Six months in to my business, I’m feeling reflective about all sorts of things…

My team of supporters I hardly know but who know me from watching my videos and reading my blog posts. Like magical fairies, they refer me clients and sprinkle my inbox, Facebook and Twitter accounts with sweet words of praise and other kind goodness.

The surprise of how my perfect people show up to work with me – the marvel of that, the wonder, the gratitude.

And the other business people with whom I’ve crossed paths. The ways they go about networking, in person and online. Those who are memorable to me, and those who, unfortunately, aren’t.

Most of all, I’m reflecting on what it means to truly connect. I’m obsessed with the art of connection, and convinced that those who master it create exceptionally successful businesses with a truly competitive advantage. They create functional workplaces and happier communities too.

I went through what I call a “networking rampage.” It was so exciting! I had coffee meetings with all sorts of people, several a week for about eight weeks. They were mostly women, although there were a few blokes amongst them.

Three people stood out. Just three. Two guys and a wonderful woman.

I noticed that all three were supreme connectors. They were real and genuine, warm and open, enthusiastic and passionate, giving and supportive, and they told the best stories. Some of those yarns I doubt I’ll ever forget. And all that in just one hour!

Those three people have mastered the art of connection. They pick up the phone to chat rather than flicking off a quick email. One of them wrote me a hand-written letter. It was so lovely, it’s on my pin board in my office. Old fashioned, yes, and so darn powerful, real and memorable. So thoughtful and kind.

And guess what? Next time I know someone who needs the services those three people offer, they’ll be the first people I refer. That’s the power of true connection.

Some of the other business people I’ve encountered were memorable too, but unfortunately not for the right reasons.

Several added me to their subscriber list just because we were at the same lunch, along with 70 other people. We never actually met.

Another emailed to say it was a pleasure to meet me and he’d love to catch up. Again, we hadn’t met. He spelt my name incorrectly too. “Trivia” instead of “Tricia.” Ouch. I emailed him back and said I’d like to think I’m more important than that.

Now I’m on a mission to be a supreme connector. These days, I often ignore my impulse to flick off an email and pick up the phone instead. It surprises so many people, and they love it.

A couple of months ago I noticed that a woman I didn’t know shared one of my blog posts on Twitter, liked my Facebook page, and subscribed on my website. I looked up her Twitter profile and saw we live in the same city. I rang her to say hello and thank you. She is now one of my greatest allies, and has referred me some brilliant business connections.

I’m learning that making an unexpected phone call can open you up to surprising possibilities.

I think those of us who rely on a diet of social media and email are starving. These media will never replace the value of picking up the phone and having a chat.

I think sometimes email is a tool for creating distance.

And one thing I know for sure:

Connection changes everything.

Tricia Karp is on a mission to develop women’s power and leadership through powerful self-expression. A public speaking coach, speech co-writer, speaker and writer, Tricia lives in Australia. You can find her at TriciaKarp.com.

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