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The most immediate opportunity that you have to build connections is right in front of you, everyday you meet new people you interact with coworkers, you may communicate with customers and you meet people outside of your business as well because of the wide variety of people that you meet, you may feel overwhelmed by the idea of connecting with all of them. Some feel that because of this they need to be strategic connecting with some contacts viewed as valuable and ignoring others. However, in my experience that would be a mistake.
The reason for this goes back to the principle of six degrees of separation, I mentioned before that I received my first book deal as a result of my connections. I once hired a freelancer to do some work for my business. I practiced the principles of building connection with her even though if I was being strategic about the relationship I might not have considered it a valuable connection. Then years later I reached out to my network looking for a literary agent, this freelancer that I had hired years before, knew a fantastic literary agent and referred me to him and incidentally it was that agent who not only got me my first two book deals, but created the opportunity that I have right now to speak to you at lynda.com.
So while it is true that it's not what you know but who you know, it's perhaps more true that it is not who you know but who knows who you know. Value each and every connection you build because you never know who will provide that one connection you need to skyrocket your career. There are three areas where you can build in person connections. First your day-to-day interaction with your coworkers gives you many opportunities to build connections that will further both your careers.
Second, if you have opportunities to interact with customers, you can further your relationships as you provide outstanding service to them. And finally you can build connections with anyone outside of your company provided you choose the right network. In any situation where you meet people in person you have the opportunity to use the four principles of connection, the principles of giving first, using their name focusing on the person and maintaining contact applied both inside and outside of your company.
In the next video I'll illustrate how you can use these four principles of connection with your coworkers.
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