Straight from the Source: How to Make Connections

June 27, 2023

While Wendi Brown is our President and fearless leader, everyone at WBCP knows that her unofficial title is “Chief Connections Officer.” As one of those people who can’t walk down the street for a coffee without running into several people she knows and making new friends, we thought we should start by asking the subject matter expert: How do you make so many meaningful connections so easily? Check out Wendi’s tips below!

Start from a Place of Caring

The best connections happen when you genuinely care about folks – it is all about authenticity. Connection is not a competition, so if you’re only in it to advance yourself, it will be counterproductive. You won’t have made a connection. You’ll have made a ladder rung, and people will see that. Lead with empathy and leave space for people to meet you there.

Ask Questions

Researching your audience beforehand is ideal, but the art of connection requires emotional intelligence and curiosity. Assess people’s interests, ask about their needs and goals, and reveal key parts of yourself in return. Don’t just pitch without a pause. No one wants to be sold to, but everyone wants to talk about their needs. This applies when promoting your services, highlighting your organization, or when presenting yourself as a top candidate. You can’t sell a pen if you don’t know what someone wants out of that pen. You can hype the comfortable grip, demonstrate how smoothly it writes, and prove that it has the best red ink, but if they want a blue pen, then you lost before you started.

Think of Those with Similar Interests or Qualities

While I’m getting to know someone, I am often simultaneously thinking of people with whom I can connect that person to or projects in which they might be interested. This is how networks can grow exponentially into entities that mutually nurture you and others throughout the span of a career.

Have Your “YES” Ready

The next step in your life or career is always a little scary, but fear should have no place in your decision-making. Always equally consider all options, people, and business opportunities because you are not a fixed quantity. You are always changing, improving, and learning, so be open to saying “yes” to new challenges that will push you outside your comfort zone. The biggest rewards are achieved through the biggest risk.

Allow People to Help You

People who are in the later stages of their careers are usually quite willing to share knowledge with those who reach out. (Fun Fact: We want to make the challenges we encountered a little easier for those coming up in the ranks!) Find a trusted mentor who has been down your path already and share with them your career successes and quandaries. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for connecting with people from different areas of your life who might be willing to help (or who YOU might be able to help). Get involved in various member groups that align with your beliefs, career path, or what you’re curious about, and make the time to participate in training or social events to find out more!

As you can see, when it comes to making connections, it’s essential to be caring, curious, genuine, and open. Are you looking to make some connections yourself? Reach out on our contact page to connect with us!