What if we flip the traditional model of quantity of connections to quality of connections?
What if we can connect by design out of deep intentions, curiosity and genuine relationships?
WHO ARE YOU THEN GOING TO CONNECT WITH?
Driving the importance of connections is not entirely new for me. It was in 2014 when I got diagnosed with breast cancer. I was starting my business at the time and I had to take a big pause to give space for all the treatments and checks. I remember that this period made me fiercely guarded of my time and energy- heck when you are bedridden after chemotherapy, you get to be fierce with who you spend time with and how you use your energy!
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” - Jim Rohn
It was then that I realized the importance of surrounding myself with the right kind of people. But I had to “see” first who I spend time with. I created the Circles of Connection when I was plotting the people I spend my time and energy with. Using this tool has been transformational in making me re-evaluate the relationships I want to nurture and the people I want to get to know more or have in my inner circle.
Making Your Circles of Connection Visible
(You can find this exercise in the 90 Day Action Planner)
The Circles of Connection starts with your innermost circle- your Relationship Circle. This consists of people in your life that you connect with on a regular basis. People who are in your immediate sphere of contact both online or face to face. These are the people who you spend more time, energy and attention to.
Who are in your relationship circle?
What do these people bring in to your life or business?
Who among these people do that you want to spend more time, energy and attention?
How can you nurture that?
Who are in your relationship circle that DRAINS your time, energy and attention?
How can you shift that relationship to a more favorable one? (This might mean also learning how to "cut the chords" when it comes to toxic people in your life.)
The next circle is your Revive Circle. These are people who you met casually or are acquanted with. They can be contacts in your social media channels or people you meet in network events. These can be previous clients or people introduced to you by a colleague. People in the revive circle are those that you deem as important to start getting a conversation with. These are people who you would like to "bring into your fold" and havea deeper connection with.
Who is in your revive circle that you want to get in contact with? To start a virtual coffee, conversation or have a face to face meeting with?
Why is this person important and/or interesting to connect deeply with?
What will having a relationship with this person bring you?
The last circle is your Reach Out Circle. Who is in your reach out circle? These are people who you admire, who inspire you or are doing the work that you envision yourself doing. These are people who have influencer status, people with a bigger network, or those who have been longer in the field. Your Reach Out Circle helps you identify in which direction you would like to expand your network. It helps you to look at the density of your connections - who knows whom? who can connect me with...?
Who is in your reach out circle? What benefit will connecting with this person bring to me?
Who is in your immediate circles (relationship and revive) that can introduce you to that person?
Which hub (groups, networks, communities) can you find him or her?
“Authentic connection is the act of being present. It’s the ability to give and hold space to what is without judgment and expectations. Relating authentically comes from deep intentions.” - Lana Jelenjev
Now the best part, don’t forget to write all of these down and make it part of your monthly (weekly or daily) intentions! Connecting by design means knowing who you would intentionally want in your relationship circle, sustaining and nurturing those relationships and expanding your network and community through your reach out and revive circles.