Singing has been a passion of mine, ever since
I launched my unofficial career as a preschooler, belting out “Let the Sunshine In” during church. I remember
my first solo as a first grader: playing a little lamb for our school’s Christmas concert; being alone on stage underneath
the spotlight; feeling like a dork wearing white long johns with glued-on cotton balls, but feeling like a star, nonetheless.
As a high school freshman, I qualified for State
Vocals but got sick the week before (most likely a case of nerves). I vowed I would qualify all 4 years for State, but the
next year I had a memory lapse: I repeated a verse by mistake and even though no one except the judge knew of my mistake,
she gave me a II rating. I was disappointed in my performance, while struggling to define my talent despite this negative
feedback. What I learned was that one rating didn’t make me a bad singer. Similarly, I also learned that making mistakes,
whether with performances, relationships or at work, also didn’t make me a bad person or employee. What is important
is to learn from the mistake, keep trying and move forward.
My junior year, I aced State with a I rating and didn’t even compete my senior
year. I didn’t need a judge telling me I was good – discovering my own self-worth was far more rewarding than
anyone else’s ranking.
I’ve been challenged – no, not
to a duel, but by a dual.
Steve Riat, (Steve’s Marketing Blog) questioned whether I could become a more effective connector professionally; and Scott Ginsberg
(Scott’s Blog) requested personal theories for increasing the probability of success for a future writing
project. Intrigued, I explored the relationship between these two thoughts and began molding my experiences into a useful
blog for others. Thus, I present to you a new philosophy I dub “Connectorable.”
Before I delve any further, I must provide a brief history. I love
sharing how I received a B.A. in B.S. No joke! I truly I LOVE to meet people and get to know them better. This passion led
me to major in Communication for both a bachelor and master’s degree. From my days selling newspaper advertising to
my years as a customer service supervisor, all my careers have had a central theme: building and enhancing customer relationships.
Connecting at a deeper, more meaningful level has always given me a natural high: I am highly energized after positively interacting
with others and believe I trigger a similar spark in others.
When I first began working for Steve, he quickly identified me as a “people person.” Years
ago, he challenged me to build and strengthen my business relationships. Rather than simply collecting business cards, he
urged me to find ways to use my natural talent to HELP people connect. This has become such an important skill set that Steve
added “identify two connections per month” to my Annual Review as a measureable goal. So when I heard about Scott’s
new book “-able,” I became even more intrigued: how does one make him/herself more able? (See the book
cover’s image to the side.) Furthermore, do I possess tips and tricks that can help others be more successful at connecting
I personally define connectorable
as such (and don’t go looking in your trusty ole Webster – this word isn’t in there…yet):
adjective: the ability to connect people in professional
situations that are impactful and positive. People lacking the know-how or confidence to effectively network with others seek
out those who are connectorable.
Here’s how I’ve learned to be more connectorable and why this
ability continues to change lives beyond my own:
-People look to me as a resource for employment possibilities or as a recruiter for new employees. I’ve become
a mini-workforce-center/head hunter all based on this word-of-mouth reputation.
-Too many times to count, I’ve introduced people based on the need to
solve a problem. Person A has a specific issue that I know Person B can fix: I connect the two together and voilà!
requires patience, time and wisdom. You must have patience to nurture quality relationships; time to allow others to develop
their own natural talents; and wisdom to know who and when to connect.
-There is a certain level of risk to being connectorable. For instance, the connector risks not being
able to provide a quality connection, thus impacting his or her reputation. However, connectees reduce their own risk
when working with one who is connectorable. The reason is this: a connector can gauge a situation for emotional level, success
probability or people’s interest before revealing anyone’s names.
-By focusing my intentions to help others, I’ve increased my own visibility and personal brand,
strengthened existing friendships, enhanced my own skill set, and widened my networking circle.
-My own success is only achievable by first helping others.
There is no value in being connectorable if the end result doesn’t find answers or unite people effectively and positively.
-Connecting others for a greater
purpose feels good - plain and simple.So many people can be connectorable, but they either choose not to get involved or they simply don’t
recognize this as the gift it can be for themselves and for others. My challenge now is to continue improving upon this skill
while sharing with others how they, too, can become connectorable.
Another blog on impactful experiences:
While editor of the collegiate newspaper, I had
a discussion with a section’s editor that ended very badly. I was reprimanding him for actions he took on behalf of
the newspaper that were both potentially illegal and dangerous. Our yelling match ended with him slamming the door as he shouted
over his shoulder, “I quit!”
A week or so later, this schoolmate came back apologizing, wanting his position back. I told him no, for these reasons:
his actions prompting our visit were unprofessional and irresponsible; his treatment toward me was unreasonable and extremely
disrespectful, and he had a history of explosive and unpredictable behavior. I shared that, while I realized this was
only a temporary job to help pay for college and bills, he had to learn how to work effectively, fairly, calmly and respectfully.
Someday, he would have more at stake - a career, a wife, a family, a reputation - and he needed to learn now to take responsibility
for his actions and words.
after all my work experience and years as a supervisor, telling him no was one of the hardest things I have ever done professionally.
I lost a friend that day, and I’ve always wondered if that sacrifice was worth it. I hope so.