Connection and Building CommunityThere are just some people who seem to know everybody. Maybe they’ve been in their industry a long time. Maybe they are “collectors”. Maybe even both. What are “collectors”? They are people who have mastered the art of connecting and they meet people and add them to their network in a meaningful way. They just seem to know that this person will fit in somehow.

Inspiring connector as well as co-host and founder of the Twitter chat, #kaizenblog, Valeria Maltoni led the way with this conversation. As usual, there are a lot of great contributions from everyone in the conversation and you may want to look that the transcript here Transcript for #kaizenblog – CommunityBldgConnection There was an interesting side conversation started by Yann Ropars (@yannr) about makes a good community leader. Definitely worth checking out!

Maltoni started the conversation on her site with the post, “Why Believing is the Most Important Thing You Can Do” By using her experiences with others, she illustrated how making true connections with another person leads to expanding one’s understanding of the world and thus, leads to opportunities for each of us. These opportunities could be for personal growth, philanthropy, or even business. But…it starts with the connection with another person.

What makes connecting important to you? Responses seem to center on how connecting with another human being is central.

  • Stephen Denny (@Note_To_CMO) ” ‘Satisficing‘ –  we look for shortcuts because we’re busy. Connections are shortcuts.”
  • AngelaDunn (@blogbrevity) “Q1 I find inspiration from connecting others, finding synergies between people & ideas”
  • Amy Blake (@BlakeGroup) “IMO, one aspect of being human means wanting to connect , in biz + life”
  • Bruno Coehlo (@bcoehlo2000) “In an Era of mass cold communication, warm human interaction has become even more important!”
  • Patrick Prothe (@pprothe) “Forming meaningful, relationships/Rising above superficiality”
  • Bernd Nurnberger (@CoCreatr) “learning, helping, exchange, trust, trade – make connection important to me”

Maltoni summed it up, “Shared interests, emotional investments are the fuel that makes connecting work!” Many of the comments followed this theme. It may be that we spend a lot of time in the online world but that hasn’t changed our need and desire to deepen the relationship with those we meet.

How do we help others succeed? The interesting piece is that truly connecting opens us up to want more for others. Sure, we start relationships wondering about what the person may offer us. This can be as simple as an enjoyable conversation to a benefit for our business. However, when (and hopefully not if) you move past that initial stage, you begin to want something for the other person. What do you have at your disposal that could be helpful?

  • Caroline Di Diego (@CASUDI) “contributing/communicating U name it > OUTPUT = other 50%”
  • Yann Ropars “Be present and create meaningful space for participants”
  • Jerry Evans (@inspiredtrain) “Knowledge, sharing, empathy, sympathy, encouragement, leadership, clear strategies and policies”
  • Rob Petersen (@robpetersen) “Add show willingness to help, make connection in return to your list; could be long list”
  • Heidi Cohen (@heidicohen) “Consider what others need/want 1st”
  • Rick Alcantara (@jerseycoach) “Q2-You help others succeed by providing them with the ideas and tools to achieve/become something greater”
  • Amber Cleveland (@ambercleveland) “Connect others to success by listening to their goals and providing insight on how they can achieve them. Share yourself”

Helping others in an altruistic way seem to resonate very much with the #kaizenblog participants. There were several tweets that echoed deeply listening so you can hear what the person might need and/or want. Providing one’s insights and experience was another thing that people wanted to share to foster others’ success.

As she often does, Maltoni brought the conversation into an unexpected place with the third discusssion question. How to give power away? She clarified the question when she tweeted, “Q3 clarification = another way to let go of control.” Building community is less about the leader per se and more about how the group can gel and move as a unit. There were many ideas of how the leader could set the stage for enabling the community members to have power.

  • Amy Blake “Q3 This is where mentoring kicks in…sharing away power while maintaining direction.”
  • Lizzie Pauker (@lizziepauker) “Q3-power in numbers. motivation skyrockets when people feel greater purpose & satisfaction”
  • Namrata Rana (@futurechat) “Community is built by enabling, enthusing and empowering. This builds trust and a self fulfilling cycle of relationships”
  •  Cathy Larkin (@CathyWebSavvyPR) “Q3: Power is often tied to or tied up in Ego. Let that go. Earn trust, yes, but let ego go – & the energy & workflow grtr”
  • Joe Sanchez (@sanchezjb) “Q3 Power is not “given away.” It’s authority that’s delegated & while authority can b delegated, responsibility cannot”
  • Bruno Coehlo “Define clear & measurable goals. Praise good performance and redirect them when they go off track. Build leaders!”
  • Torrey McGraw (@torreymcgraw) “Q3 Don’t be afraid to be wrong as “expert”. Ask, listen & throw preconceptions out the window to achieve goals”
  • Lois Martin (@LoisMarketing) “Q3 Key is being open to new ideas, new voices, new perspectives”

So the conversation ended with an opportunity for everyone to turn the focus onto their own actions and how they build their own communities. What are 3 things you do regularly that help you build community? It was fascinating to see the myriad ways people engage with their communities.

  • Caroline Di Diego “I mentor small biz to be sustainable =help local community”
  • Diane Court (@dc2fla) “Q4 Ask questions, Listen, Recognize & appreciate contributions w/out judgement <= require my constant attention to improve”
  • Rick Alcantara “Q4: Send articles about interesting topics, mentor young professionals, connect my biz contacts with one another.”
  • Cathy Larkin “Q4 3 things 2 build commty: ID community needs, be the connector 2 help solve needs, be positive/upbeat”
  • Joe Sanchez “Q4: Engage (two-way comms w/ feedback), assess (how r we doing towards achieving our goals), recognize (reward/incentivize).”

This week’s #kaizenblog conversation had a lot of energy! For many of our participants, asking questions is a favored strategy to discover what community members are thinking, feeling, and doing. It seems, from this conversation, that egotism is  community killer. There were many references to managing one’s ego and insecurities as being important to having effective communication as well as understanding what needs and wants are present in the community. Writing this recap is part of how I help build the #kaizenblog community and it’s a pleasure to highlight both our regulars and our newer members.

How do you rate the importance of serving others to build communities?

What could this mean for your business/work?

What 3 things do you do regularly that helps you build community?