The psychology of connection…it’s more than communication

Connected People in Network

So often the lessons start early, as early as kindergarten; “One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish” who doesn’t remember Dr. Seuss and the way the different fish were set out in our early childhood cognitive minds by their differences, similarities, and for better or for worse, value based on group affiliation.

Today, the conversation usually goes something like this…”So, Michelle, I have an opening at XYZ law firm or ABC company, we want to be diverse, do you know any qualified (fill in the descriptor here) you could put me in touch with?” My gut response is to say, sure, let me just pull out my binder of…ok well that maybe is for another blog post.

Let’s face it, who hasn’t heard a leader complain that they’re struggling to diversify their staff, organizations and firms, I’m reminded of another early and very simple lesson from childhood; Make new friends.

If you want to find one new lawyer, you need to find 100 contacts through networking at legal events; if you want to find 10 staff people, you need to meet 1000 people. But you won’t interest them by just shaking their hand and giving a business card. Tell those 1000 people your story.  It’s not complicated. If you need more young people in your organization, you need to get out there and tell your story to 100 young people. I’m talking about face-to-face not through social media.

Ask yourself who you want to engage and ask what is your organization’s potential to advance the common good, and then go out and connect meaningfully with as many people as possible that meet those needs. It’s simple.

If you’re truly committed to diversifying, create some “out of my comfort level opportunities” in your schedule. Get out there and meet new people, put yourself in new environments where you know no one, in regions where your target audience is,  just show up. Once you meet, follow-up more deeply,  don’t just talk about your company, your work, or yourself, find out who they are as people, students, parents, people of faith, and human beings. Connecting is bigger than communication.

It doesn’t end there, because just as you’re involving and integrating new people, you’ll need to keep creating opportunities to expand your network beyond them as well. As you do this, the impact of this effort will expand exponentially and you will reap rewards. Diversifying your business takes hard work and patience. The benefits to you, your staff and organization will be great, but you have to be willing to put the work in, connecting is much harder than communicating, but it is a skill that can be learned.

Learn how Verdict Works can help you make better cultural connections and diversify your business or firm.

Visit: http://www.verdictworks.com

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