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March 31, 2015

2015 – The Year of Connecting

by wictseblog

by Jordan C. Lofton

The word “connect” is something we hear used almost on a daily basis in the Cable Telecommunications industry.  We think about “connecting” customers with service.  We “connect” devices in the field.  But how many times do we use the term “connect” as a way of referring to how we grow and build meaningful relationships?

Each year WICT chooses one of it’s core values to focus on.  This year, you guessed it, the value is “Connecting”.

We believe in capitalizing on a source of networking and mentoring, informal as well as structured. We are dedicated to bringing industry professionals together through different forums, especially exposing emerging leaders to those established executives.

One of the ways that we intend to connect with you this year is to provide a series of blog posts on the topic of “Connecting”.   Whether it is your peers, managers, team members, customers, mentors, Millenials, or Boomers, WICT is challenging us to do more than look for the technical definition we find of networking, and to engage in a meaningful and deep connection this year.  Each post will take a different look at how we can connect.

How to Connect

To get us started here are a few tips that were shared in Inc.com’s article How to Network Like You Really Mean It.

  1. Figure Out Who Matters Most – this suggestion is not about finding the most “important” person in the room, but the person whom you will develop most from.  Job titles aside, we need the mentorship and networking of key people in order to develop our own leadership.  Think of the skills you’re looking to hone and then identify who matters most to help you grow those skills.
  2. If You Want to Connect With Someone, Find a Way to Help That Person – By helping somebody we don’t mean to say that you need to climb Mt. Everest for them.  If you recognize that someone in your organization is working on a Big Data project and you read an interesting article on the topic, you might be helping them by sharing what you’ve learned. If you see that the person is busy and hasn’t stepped away for lunch, bring them a snack.  The gesture can be small, but the fact that you took notice of their need and helped will be huge.
  3. Be Intriguing – The article uses an example of engaging a key connection in an emotional introduction.  The truth is you don’t have to be dramatic to be intriguing.  By showing someone you learned from them or related to their experience, you invoke a personal response.  Your own story which tells how and why you relate to their message is the best intrigue you can use.  Be vulnerable enough to share.
  4. Think People Not Positions – I know, you want to meet everyone with a C- in front of their job title.  But how many times do you see someone in your organization and say, “That person is going to go somewhere!”  Then years later when your prediction came true you wish you had taken the time to get to know that person better.  We’re each on a leadership journey.  Engage people who can develop with you, not just develop you.
  5. Give Before You Receive – It’s the age old rule that “To give is better than to receive.”  Think first about what ways you can add value to the person you’re aiming to connect with.  By being on the giving end not only are you opening the doors up to receive, but you’re showing that this is not expected to be a one way relationship.  Maybe its an article you can share, an introduction you can make, or assistance on a project.  Whatever it is offer your value and be generous in your investment.  Remember, it’s not about giving so you get something in return, it’s about demonstrating you sincerely value that connection.

Connecting with WICT-SE

Now that you’re armed with these words of wisdom, we how that we see you at our next event, sign up to participate in one of our  mentor programs, or help with one of our blogs.  We are trying to connect with you by being generous in the value we provide, so we hope you find more ways to connect with WICT and our members.  Let’s make great connections in 2015!

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