The Lost Art of Connecting | Susan McPherson

Summary of: The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Business Relationships
By: Susan McPherson

Introduction

Embark on a journey to rediscover the true essence of building meaningful professional relationships with ‘The Lost Art of Connecting’ by Susan McPherson. Unveil the secrets of achieving genuine, enduring connections through a transformative three-step framework: Gather, Ask, and Do. Learn to establish authentic relationships by focusing on shared goals, compassionate communication, and personalized interactions. This book summary will guide you through the essential concepts and enlightening anecdotes that demonstrate the power of human connection in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world.

Overcoming Networking Anxiety

The book introduces a three-step framework to transform the fear of networking into building meaningful professional relationships. The first step is to gather foundational information about oneself by examining their personal relationships. Secondly, it is essential to have clarity about professional goals. Finally, reaching out to potential connections and following up on them is the final step of the framework. The author highlights that being intentional about needs and functions helps navigate which connections to focus on, leading to building valuable professional relationships. By understanding how one operates in personal relationships, the Gather, Ask, Do framework paves the way for meaningful connections.

Building Stronger Connections

In a world filled with countless social media platforms, it is easier than ever to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time. However, these connections tend to be superficial, and social media is making it harder to maintain strong and meaningful bonds. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals that the number of close confidantes per American adult has decreased by up to one-third between 1985 and 2009. Therefore, it is essential to build and maintain strong relationships.

The aforementioned study also found that people are losing touch with their colleagues in the workplace, leading to a shrinking network. Although building new connections is important, one should not underestimate the power of the network they already have. People in one’s existing network may prove to be valuable connections, and by broadening one’s outreach to those in their extended network, new opportunities can arise.

It is vital to cultivate positive and healthy relationships. Studies published by the Journal of Applied Psychology show that exchanging ideas within one’s direct network provides a creative boost that extends widely. In other words, the expansion of one’s network improves the networks of others. Ultimately, building stronger relationships can positively impact one’s career and mental health.

Authentic Networking

Learn the art of building genuine connections by focusing on helping others in a world where transactional networking prevails.

Networking events can be overwhelming and uninspiring, as people often attend them with a “what’s-in-it-for-me” mindset. This approach is even more common in the age of social media, where people focus on getting more likes, comments, and connections. While these interactions can offer short-term benefits, they hardly build strong human connections.

The solution lies in focusing on building authentic relationships based on helping others. Instead of making all interactions purely transactional, focus on how you can help the person you are reaching out to. If you dread attending networking events, you can always create your opportunities by volunteering or inviting people for coffee. Start small and simple, and as you gain confidence, expand your network.

Always remember to prioritize what you can do to help, instead of stressing about what you could gain from the connection. Before sending your next LinkedIn request, take some time to understand the recipient’s challenges and brainstorm ways in which you can be of help. By doing so, you’re sure to create true connections that go beyond transactional networking, leading to a more fulfilling experience.

The Power of Asking Effectively

Learn how to ask for help confidently and successfully by staying positive, being specific, and keeping focused on your goals. Rhonesha Byng’s success story shows that no matter your age, you can achieve your goals if you pitch well and with assertiveness.

Asking for help, be it for a job interview or a budget increase, can be a nerve-wracking experience, often leading to negative thoughts and unmet expectations. However, you can change your mindset and gain confidence when requesting assistance by staying positive, being specific about your needs, and staying focused on your goals.

Rhonesha Byng, a journalist and founder of award-winning digital media platform Her Agenda, became a successful professional woman by confidently asking for her network’s help. She didn’t let her age discourage her from making her pitch. Instead, she focused on showcasing successful women’s stories and requested 15 minutes of their time.

Byng’s success shows us the importance of pitching our requests effectively, making sure they’re specific, measurable, and time-bound. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep your pitch short, around five minutes, especially in a new relationship. By being specific about what we need and by when, we can inspire our contacts to become invested in our personal goals and feel connected to us as a result.

In conclusion, we have to learn how to ask for help efficiently and effectively. With the right mindset and tactics, we can transform our requests into successful ventures, just like Rhonesha Byng did.

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