It’s no longer just what you know or who you know. Instead, it’s who else wants to know you. In this new era where convergence and connectivity are vital, achieving success depends less on persuading or leading others and more on forging mutually beneficial ties that enable you to become the glue that attracts and keeps the right groups together. As the world flattens, power and responsibility are rapidly flowing from organizations to mutuality-minded individuals. As more people have the freedom to connect with anyone, no skill is more vital than the capacity to inspire others to want to work well together, and with you.
This may be the first book to provide a way to communicate a “we” rather than a “me” approach to accomplishment, in the moment and over time. The result of doing this? You are better able to instigate the give-and-take connections that foster smarter mutual support sooner and more often. Thus, the capacity to communicate to connect is the foundational skill to survive, let alone thrive, with others in this hyper-connected world. Hopefully, the actionable insights and related examples in this book will enable you to become more deeply and diversely connected and widely quoted so you can optimize your talents with and for others and thus attract more opportunities and enjoy a more accomplished, adventuresome, and meaningful life.
Developing this capacity enables you to:
•understand yourself better so you can be positive and proactive rather than negative and reactive;
•become more frequently quoted;
•vividly describe a situation so you shape how others see it, feel about it, and act on it;
•attract smarter support sooner;
•stay relevant and sought-after;
•discover sweet spots of shared interests that help you cultivate diverse yet complementary allies;
•bring out others’ better side so they are more likely to see and support yours;
•support others and yourself in using best talents together on projects that are mutually meaningful;
•recruit apt and sometimes unexpected allies to generate credibility and visibility as you collectively seize an opportunity or solve a problem better and faster than others;
•become the glue that holds a team together;
•expand your spheres of influence to pull in more serendipitous opportunities; and
•attract more opportunities, adventures, accomplishments, and healthy friendships.
The ability to communicate to connect and thus accomplish more begins from the inside out. Recognizing what matters most to you enables you to communicate with clarity in a credible and compelling way. This ability also grows by honing your ability to say it better in how you speak, write, move, and optimize the settings in which you interact with others. Without the means to articulate what you believe or seek in a situation, you not only cannot connect well with others, it is harder for you to make smart choices. Your responses become simply reactive rather than proactive.
In this Age of Engagement, power and opportunity flow. Those who draw attention to themselves do not generate as much connection as those who can paint the irresistible picture of what “we” can accomplish better together. This style of communicating may come more naturally to some, but no matter what your current tendencies, you can learn specific ways to unlock the Power of Us and thus become happier and higher performing with and for others. I know because I stumbled through earlier chapters of my life before discovering the best way to attract opportunities and meaningful, mutuality-minded friends. As a once extremely shy, stutterer-turned-Emmy-winning Wall Street Journal reporter, NBC “Magazine of the Air” journalist, and paid public speaker, I researched, then kept practicing this approach. It has enabled me to pull in apt allies rather than “push” at people to do things, and I have even been given opportunities I did not know existed.