Monday, March 19, 2012

Connecting Is A Competition

Yes, you heard me right. Connecting is a competition.

Most of us associate competition with winning and losing.  I certainly do. So what in the world does competition have to do with the process of connecting?  Am I suggesting that there are winners and losers in connecting?

As my Granddad used to say, "We've got a bingo here!"

Yes!  There are winners and losers in the competition of connecting.  Let me explain.

Each of us have demands on two critical areas in our life: attention and time. Both are a challenge to control and maintain, wouldn't you agree? So naturally we try and protect them and safe guard them from things that would undermine us in either of these two areas. One way that we protect these most precious assets is by filtering through the important stuff and discarding the unimportant stuff.

That especially includes people.

Sort of like they taught us in science class, our own internal version of natural selection takes over. We are naturally drawn to the people who bring value to us, make us happy, inspire us or help us in some way and discard people who don't. Every single one of us uses our own adaptive method of determining who's important to us (who we'll give our attention to) and what we're willing to do (invest time in or with) to build any kind of relationship with those people.

So if you are trying to build a relationships with people in your network, realize your immersed in competition that you probably hadn't even thought about.  Your competing with other people that your contact meets.  Your competing to be (and remain) relevant to your contact and demonstrate that relevance by your words, actions and deeds that you are important and someone they should give their attention and time to.  And you are also competing with yourself.  Whatcha talkin bout Willis?  Yes, yourself.

How many times have you met someone and done the old follow up, heck maybe took the person out for coffee and said to yourself,  self, that's someone I would really like to get to know better or actually make a part of my personal or professional network? Well, maybe you've not exactly said that to yourself but you get the picture right?  You meet someone, you like them and you want to get to know them better but then you let that moment pass.  You get busy. They get busy. You think about picking up that phone, dropping a handwritten card in the mail or scheduling your next meet up but you don't.   I'll do it tomorrow turns into next week turns into next month turns into...never.

You lose the competition to inaction and with it, you've severely undermined your chances of ever building a real relationship with that person.  You've lost all the way around haven't you?

Sure it takes time.  Sure it takes effort.  But if you want to be a winner in this competition and build a rock solid network of people who love and adore you then buddy it's worth it.

Connecting is a competition.  There are winners and there are losers.  Which one will you be?

Ripple On!!!

P.S. If you can't see the Whatch talking bout Willis video please go here:

1 comment:

saha said...

Completely agree with the post. Very true. Connecting is a competition. Everyone tries to win but Everyone is not always winner.