Executive Digest

Creating valuable connections can be an awkward challenge, especially when we plan on using those connections for personal or professional growth. The Connector’s Advantage by Michelle Tillis Lederman is all about what it means to be a Connector and how to become one. Through careful observation of common mindsets and those of great Connectors, Lederman presents us with the steps that will help us grow our connections.

As we become Connectors, the impact on ourselves and those around us will increase significantly.

Through stories, feedback, and real-life applications of connection-making, anyone can learn how to become a Connector. Lederman examines the mindsets of Connectors and provides guidance on how to cultivate that same mindset within ourselves. Focusing on authenticity and generosity the techniques in this book help create meaningful relationships.

We Will Learn 

Mindset #1: Open and Accepting

In the same way we would not want to be friends with someone judgmental or closed-minded, we should not close off to new relationships by being closed and judgmental. Instead, we should try to be open and accepting of a wide variety of situations and people.

Open and accepting people almost always have stronger connections, their mindset puts them in a position to connect with just about anyone, even people who are completely different than them. This in return allows them to have more support and perspectives when the time comes. Our goal should be to create real relationships by being open about our goals, desires, and ourselves. Avoid being fake since most people will be able to see right through it. Make it a priority to be open and accepting of ourselves and others.

Mindset #2: Have a Clear Vision

Knowing what we want is a challenge we all face and a little bit of uncertainty is okay, however, we should not be uncertain about our vision. We won’t be able to accomplish our goals and desires if we do not have a clear vision in the same way we can’t get where we want to go without an address or directions.

Part of being a Connector is to always have a clear vision of our goal and desires. In fact, these visions are so clear that they help Connector create action steps, ask for help, communicate their goals, feelings, and wishes to get where they want.

By setting SMARTER goals, we have a clear idea of what we want and how to get there. Use these goals to create the life we want. As we set our goals, don’t forget about our connections. They are there to help us become the person we want to be and always offer support in return so our connections can flourish alongside us.

Mindset #3: Believe in Abundance

To believe in abundance is to believe in opportunities. The more we believe in abundance, the more opportunities we will have, people we will meet, and so on. No matter if it is relationship, personal, or work opportunities, abundance lets us see potential across all options in our life. Fully believing in abundance means we don’t compare ourselves to others, and don’t take away from their shine.

Mindset #4: Trust

All relationships need trust to last, even our own relationship with ourselves. Trust is what allows relationships to flourish, grow, and be helpful when times get tough. Keeping this in mind, Connectors make trust a priority. The key is to tackle every one of our relationships with authenticity, transparency, vulnerability, and consistency. Keep these attributes present throughout our relationships and they will likely succeed.

In order to trust our connections we must first trust ourselves. Many people often forget this and if we don’t trust our abilities or decisions then we can not trust other people. Let’s put our best foot forward by trusting ourselves when it comes to our actions, decisions, and abilities.

Mindset #5: Social and Curious

We cannot thrive without meaningful social interaction and Connectors know that this is what makes or breaks us. They make it a must to be social in all sorts of ways, group settings, one-on-one, or even virtual relationships. No matter the means by which we are communicating it is imperative to be social. Hand-in-hand with being social comes curiosity, the more curious we are the more likely we will meet new people and find ourselves trying new things. Follow our curiosity and let it guide we into becoming brave, outgoing, and social every day.

Mindset #6: Conscientious

Being conscientious means to be careful and diligent. In connection-making it translates to being diligent and careful with our relationships. Checking in, keeping promises, and meeting deadlines are all ways of being conscientious in a relationship.

An essential part of being conscientious is knowing when to say yes and no. We will find ourselves in situations where we will not have the time, energy, or means to do a favor and in this case it is better to simply say no while always being careful about the way we say it. Make sure to be compassionate, respectful, and heartfelt to the other person.

Mindset #7: Have a Generous Spirit

Don’t expect to receive without giving as well, this is why generosity is a crucial part of rewarding connections. In order to become a Connector we need to have a generous spirit for the world around us. No matter if it is at the office, home, or any other organization, try to add something attentive and generous to the situations needs and wants. Even if we receive nothing in return at first, nothing is ever for nothing it just takes some time.

Being generous does mean that some people will try to take advantage of us, this is why it is important to also set boundaries to prevent this from happening. Having good boundaries is a way of being generous to others and to ourselves as well and falls in line with a basic principle. If we are not generous to ourselves we can not be generous and beneficial to others.

With these mindsets in mind we are ready to start our journey towards becoming a Connector. Similar to the stock market where we want a diverse portfolio versus having all our eggs in one basket, we will want to have diversity in our connections as well. Let’s kick our networking up a notch by becoming a Connector. Be trusting, conscientious, accepting, and watch how we authentically create relationships that will improve our life.